For me to live is Christ, for me to die is gain.”
Thomas Evans, Jr., affectionately known as Tom, was born February 7, 1947 to the late Thomas Sr. and Genada Nesbitt Evans in Portsmouth, Virginia. To this union, nine children were born, and Thomas was the fifth oldest child.
At an early age, Tom joined Immanuel Reformed Episcopal Church in Cross, South Carolina where he was active in the church. His mother made sure he attended Sunday School and Church Services every Sunday. Whenever he came home to visit, he didn’t waiver from his upbringing. He would attend Immanuel and pay his tithes. His passion was singing. Even in high school, he was the youngest member of the “Late Sam Nelson and the Golden Tones” Quartet Group. His favorite song was “Roll Jordan Roll, I want to go to Heaven when I die.” During the time when Tom was unable to talk or move in the hospital, the family held conference prayer line services. One night, his sister Stella asked him if he would like to say anything. When the nurse held the phone to Tom’s ear, he began singing “Roll Jordan Roll.”
In 1968, Tom married the former Blannie Futrell. There were two daughters born to this union Wanda (Shawn) Johnson, Columbia MD and Barbara (Noe) Vasquez, Germantown, MD. When Tom moved to Maryland, he joined the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church and was a member of the Deacon Board, The Spiritual Ensemble, the Mass Choir and the Male Chorus. He served faithfully and joyfully.
Tom was a 1964 graduate of Central High School in Cross, SC. Tom excelled in academics as well as athletics resulting in an early graduation one year ahead of his class. His high school participation in clubs and organizations included the Science Club, Commercial Club, Block C Club, Honor Society, Student Council and Dramatics Society. His impeccable athletic skills in football and track earned him a full football and track scholarship to continue his undergraduate education at Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, NC where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical education and Health. In 1977, Tom earned a Masters of Arts Degree in Education from Western Maryland College in Westminster, Maryland while working as a successful educator in the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Rockville, Maryland. From 2000-2006 Tom worked towards his Ph.D. in Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
During his distinguished career with MCPS, Tom was a role model and mentor to many young students. His work as a Work-Oriented Curriculum (WOC) Teacher (1978-1989) at Wheaton High gave him the opportunity to serve challenged teens that needed an alternative process for completion of high school. Additionally, as part of a CO-OP Program, he secured jobs in the community for challenged teens and coordinated a work study program to help the students satisfy the graduation requirements as well as placement in government and private sector jobs. From 1989 through 1997, Tom was a Special Education Teacher at Mark Twain School working with emotionally disturbed students in a therapeutic environment helping them participate in a work-study program to ensure job placement in the private sector. His work in this arena continued from 1995 to 2001 where he served as school administrator working to reduce the suspension rate in MCPS. Concurrently, he served as Manager of “Project Uplift,” which was an SAT Prep Program that helped minority students raise their scores over 200 points in many cases. As a staunch supporter and advocate for others, Tom was a member of “Building Our Network of Diversity” (BOND) which mentored male teachers of color and encouraged them to succeed in MCPS. Upon retirement from MCPS in 2001, he continued to serve students in the metropolitan area by working as an administrator in the District of Columbia Public Schools, Washington DC.
As an entrepreneur, Tom established a thriving company, Evans Tree Service in 1989. He used this business to help mentor and train young men in the community. His business employed young people and adults in the community and from his Mt. Calvary Baptist Church family. This business focused on service to others, practical business skills, and lessons about responsibility and success.
Tom was socially and civically active in many organizations. He was inducted into The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in 1967 and loved the brotherhood. Other affiliations and involvement included: NAACP, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) Foundation Board. He was a dedicated alumnus and financial supporter of his alma mater as well as a lifetime member of the ECSU National Alumni Association. Tom loved Central High School in Cross, SC., and in 2014 he along with Joe A. Sanders and Lawton Wilson (Maryland) provided seed monies to begin a scholarship fund for students graduating from the high school and pursuing a college degree or trade.
Over the years, Tom was recognized for his community contributions: Recipient of the Outstanding Young Man of America Award (1985); Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s Outstanding Business Man of the Year (2000); and the Community Service Award by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (2016).
On February 11, 2021, God called Tom to take his rest and join his parents and siblings Isaiah, Chance and Francis (Shine). He leaves to cherish his memory: his Life Partner, Pam Williams; sisters, Betty Jean Evans-Lee (Isaac), Eutawville, SC; Geneva Murchison (Late James), Boston, Ma.; Stella L. Myers (Late Willie), Ft. Worth, TX; brothers, Nemiah Evans (Inez), Queens, NY; and Joseph Evans (Terrie), Killeen, TX; grandchildren, Myles Johnson (Wanda) and Evan Johnson (Wanda); Nya Martinez(Barbara), Jayda Vasquez (Barbara), and Noah Vasquez (Barbara); his only uncle, Vester Owens, Ft. Worth, TX; and a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and colleagues.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Thomas Evans may be directed to support the general scholarship fund at Elizabeth City State University. Please make checks payable to ECSU Foundation, Inc. Gifts may be mailed with a memo indicating that this gift is in memory of Thomas Evans to the ECSU Foundation, P.O. Box 1467, Elizabeth City, NC 27906 or make a gift online.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas Evans, please visit our floral store.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas Evans, Jr, please visit our floral store.