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Celebrating the life of
Thomas M. Eve
Passed away on January 06, 2024
Thomas McDowell Eve, 79, passed away Saturday, January 6, 2024, at his home in Savannah. He was born September 30, 1944, in Savannah to James Hammond Eve Jr. and Evalan Caison Eve. A man of the water, Tommy grew up on the barrier island of Colonel’s Island, spending his formative years running wild on the undeveloped island, a time that would come to define his approach to the world and the meaning he sought. He spent his later childhood years in Savannah and Jesup, growing a wide group of friends who he would stay close with throughout his entire life. During this time, he was an avid sailor at the Savannah Yacht Club, winning a number of championships and remaining a life-long member of the club.
He left home to attend Lyman Ward Military Academy in Camp Hill, Alabama. Following graduation, he served in the US Navy 1964 - 1968, deploying multiple times onboard aircraft carriers as part of the Carrier Strike Group Staff, operating in the South China Sea during the Vietnam War, and traveling extensively throughout Asia. Following his honorable discharge, he embraced a wild and varied life, kicking around San Francisco during the late 60’s and spending the following years living on and around the water of the Georgia Coast before beginning his 40 year career as a Marine Surveyor, founding Eve Marine Surveyor, Inc. and becoming one of the most knowledgeable and trusted minds on watercraft on the East Coast. He surveyed and appraised boats of all classes up and down the Eastern Seaboard, as well as all over the world, and earned membership on numerous professional marine associations: SAMS, ABYC, NFPA, SNAME, IAMI, and SEALI. More than career or adventure, the later half of his life was dedicated to growing a family on Isle of Hope, guiding his daughters through all of life’s chapters and teaching them to see the world through different eyes.
Tommy was more than a friend to many. He was loved, a man who lived life on his own terms and own time, every day a party. To some, a Hemingway-Esque character stepping out of the pages of a novel, to others a debonair sage who held a deep appreciation for what matters in this world, to many simply a friend who could be counted on for a story and a good time. Any stop by his house would find you sitting on his couch, heat blazing with all the lamps on, surrounded by the wooden artifacts of a lost time with a drink in your hand, listening to stories that took you to another era, or sitting in his backyard with the bamboo run wild, a fire’s light smoke coloring the shafts of lights that fell through the oaks boughs above, opera playing softly in the background. He created a world wherever he went.
Tommy ran hard through all his eight decades, a broken neck, bout with esophageal cancer, and the ails of old age never dampening a life best lived wide open. He embraced the mystery of what lay beyond. No doubt, with the love he brought so many in this world, he is now at peace in eternity.
He is survived by two daughters, Dancy Eve Dickson (Baker) and Sarah Hammond Eve DeLoach (Michael). He is also survived by his grandchildren, Sarah Avaleen Dickson, Viola Isabel Dickson, Austina Keating DeLoach, and Daniel Eve DeLoach, as well as his former wife, Sarah Norris Eve, his brother, James Hammond Eve III (Sandra), his sister, Evalan Eve Beck (Paul), and his nephews, Hammond Eve IV and Jacob Perkins Eve.
A Graveside Service will be held Saturday, January 13, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. in Greenwich Cemetery with a gathering to follow.
Lee and I offer our condolences at this difficult time. Peace and comfort.
- Sally Adcock, Pelham, AL
Terrible news, just had a beer with Tommy and the guys at DriftAway. Talked about old days we raced Penguin class on Sundays at the Yacht Club I was crew he skippered back in the late 50’S. He was a legend in the 50th st gang. Will be missed by many. Thoughts and prayers to family. Joe Inglesby
- Joe Inglesby , Savannah , Ga
My husband, Charles, and Tommy were good friends from 50th and 51st street era! He was one of a kind. My deepest sympathy to the family.
- Mary Ellen Corbell, Savannah, GA
A legend is gone, a good friend and business associate for many years. Tommy was always willing to help no matter the situation, could be a marine salvage operation in the middle of the marsh at 3am or just reviewing surveys at his house overlooking his own backyard wildlife preserve and or jungle as he described it. Tommy and his stories of life, escapades and the US Navy will surely be missed by all. Thoughts and prayers to the family.
- Rich Galuk, Savannah, GA
Sail on old friend. I enjoyed the good times and the old stories. May you rest in Peace Capt. You will remain a legend to those of us that had the once in a lifetime opportunity to have been a friend of your's. RIP Tommy. Jack & Beth Fitzgerald - S/V HONEY - US12788
- Jack & Beth Fitzgerald, Nevils Community, GA
I have known Tommy since the 60’s. He was truly a living legend. Tommy and I would talk of our experiences in Viet Nam, he served on a Navy ship in the Gulf of Tonkin. Tommy always had that gift to seem to know just about anything you would bring up. Truly a Wonderful and Wise Man and Great Friend.
- Dick and Harriette Edgerly, St. Simons Island, Georgia
Sarah, Dancy and Sarah, So very sorry for your loss. Prayers as you travel through this difficult time.
- Anna B Highsmith, Savannah, GA
Well, one thing is for certain; Tommy left nothing on the table. If it could be read, drunk, eaten, explained, sailed, experienced, loved or just enjoyed HE did it. And he did it not only with gusto, he did it with joy and abundant humor. He was a character not to be missed. Thank God I didn’t miss it. From the very early youthful days at the Yacht Club to actually being able to hang out at our mutual place of work for over 10 years on River Street, we had not only a brother like relationship we had a freaking blast! He seriously helped me turn my workplace into an unusually entertaining hang out. The joke about our work place was that it felt like a nightclub act out front (The world famous Bus comes to mind) but behind that hilarious front end both he and I were serious about our businesses. Of course, like many others, he assisted me in purchasing a number of vessels. He even helped me, along with Charlie Williams, deliver one of them back to Savannah from Jacksonville. One of my good friends remarked when they met Tommy that he reminded them of a U-boat captain. I’ll leave it at that. Godspeed Thomas; no more crawling around tight spaces.
- Abraham Neff McIntosh, Flat rock, NC
We are so sad about your dad passing! We never met him, but he sounds like a very unique & special person. After reading about him we can see why you are so special Dancy.
- The Burke Family, Charlotte , North Carolina
Such a beautifully written tribute to your Father, Sarah. What a wonderful life he led! We are thinking of you all - Love Jackie & Gary
- Grimes Family , Newport Beach, CA
I am so sorry to hear of Tom's passing. I worked with him for about 2 years 10 years ago. It was always an adventure and I loved hearing his stories. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
- Kathy King, Savannah, GA
Prayers for the family>
- james l woods, savannah, GA
Farewell dear friend. Fair winds and following seas.
- Paula Whitaker, Owensboro, KY
Thank you for this beautiful story of Tom’s life. I only knew him briefly but I loved his stories and quickly knew what a special character he was. I’m so sorry for your loss.
- Courtney and Theresa Houston , Savannah , GA
Tommy was a great guy. I cherished his company.
- Matt Powers, Wilmington Island, GA, Georgia
My condolences to the family. I met Tommy almost 74 years ago. I have a lifetime of memories of him. He will be greatly missed by me and all who knew him.
- John B Adams , Sav, Ga
Mr. Tom was a great friend and full of knowledge. He shared some good stories about his life on Colonel's Island and we had good times working together. He will surely be miss by all for sure. My thoughts and prayers to the family.
- Mike Carter, Savannah , Ga
January 12, 2024 Tommy and I go back many decades, long before marine surveys became part of a charter boat captain’s life. When it became clear to us that surveys were a necessity, Tommy was there to walk us through the crazy insurance questionnaires. He played a big part in the charter/fishing industry by explaining to us what we needed to get fixed before it broke, and we appreciated this for sure! The best thing about Tommy was even if you hadn’t seen him in years, when you did run into him, the conversation just picked up where you left off! He will be missed for sure by many, but his strong compelling presence and that wonderful debonair smile that he always delivered while he was here will keep his spirit alive forever! Captain Judy Helmey Miss Judy Charters
- Captain Judy L Helmey, Savannah, GA
What a fitting tribute to a man who lived like no other. Tom was genuine. Tom had passion and a wealth of knowledge. Working beside him was always an adventure. Hearing his advice or stories after the job was done was the treat for a long day of work. I’m going to miss seeing his name pop up on my phone and the talks and the company.
- Sean Silverman, Savannah , Georgia
Tommy was one of the most knowledgeable small craft surveyors I've ever known and the reason that brought us together at Southern Marine many years ago. I detested small craft surveys because of the emotional element that it involved, but Tommy seemed to thrive on it and had the ability to weather the late night calls "but what about my boat" that came constantly from owners. The three days that I spent with Tommy and Neff bringing the trawler from Jacksonville to Savannah was a never to be forgotten moment, cruising the intracoastal; being on the hook at night and the late night swim in Ossabaw sound where we all may have perished. This and the many Southern Marine stories we shared were always recounted when we got together. He was just a great guy and God certainly broke the mold when he made him. May he rest in peace and light perpetual shine upon him.
- Charles Williams, Savannah, Georgia
He has been quite the inspiration to my life that cannot be duplicated. I wished I could have been closer. I'll miss him.
- Mark Seckinger, Bluffton, SC
My family has known Tommy since he was a boy growing up in Wayne county and then I knew him growing up myself through my parents Philip L. Hamilton and McKee Hargrett Hamilton. *A friend to my family before me and then friend and family to me*. Sending Salli, Dancy and, Sarah peace and love during this time. He was so proud of his girls and how well they had done. He loved you all so much. We miss you Tommy, a legend gone too soon. Happy Sailing Sugar!
- Kate Hamilton, Savannah, GA
I’m so sorry to hear of Tommy’s passing! What a great guy and superb story teller! When I brought my new boat to Sasser’s Railway,Tommy was there waiting for the old wooden boat to come out of the water. As it exited the river , several seams looked like waterfalls as he turned to me and said, « Edwin, I hope you didn’t buy this boat! » then explained what I must do... a couple of years later meeting up in Blackbeard Creek beside Sapelo on his sailboat with my former 10th grade lab partner Sarah...25 years later , I’m sitting on that same boat that Tommy explained how to save! You’ve left a great legacy in your wake! Bon Voyage !
- Edwin Longwater , Tybee Is, GA
A true character with an inspirational appetite for life. I will always cherish the memories and am honored to have known Tom. He defined charisma and will be sorely missed.
- Craig Copas, Hilton Head Island, SC
Walt Whitman - Leaves of Grass, "The Untold Want" "The untold want, by life and land ne'er granted, Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find." Farewell to our beloved Ancient Mariner, Thomas MacDowell Eve, from 3 generations of the Hargrett Family of Screven, GA, Wayne County--Dr. McKee Hargrett, Doris, Lucy the Elder, Cherry, Kee, Lucy the Younger, Chrisy, Kate, Zain, Bowen & Bennett.
- Lucy Hargrett Draper, Atlanta, GA
My sincere condolences of your loss. Tommy was a great guy. I always enjoyed surveying with him on vessels. May he rest in peace.
- James Spacher, Statesboro, GA
My friend Tommy, crossed the bar. I met Tommy when we both worked at Palmetto Bay Marina in Hilton Head Island. We struck up an immediate friendship that lasted 45 years. We cemented our friendship while repairing "Tenacious", Ted Turner's sloop after the fast net race. We did spend some wild weekends in Savannah and Tommy's adage about supper was to serve it late, that way it always tasted good. We both understudied Joseph Dimock, founder of Vessel and Cargo Surveys, who launched us both into the marine survey field. We kept in touch on a semi regular basis, but always enjoyed fellowship at survey conventions. My regret is that we planned to co-author a book of our experiences in the survey business and I was shocked to hear of his passage. My PaPa told me that you were lucky if you were blessed with five friends in your life and I am proud to say Tommy was one of mine. He could always make you smile. .. Scripture says... life is but a handspan, as a story told. Paul said it is like a vapor, it appeareth for a little while and is gone. I am sad, but Tommy enriched many lives and left too soon. Sail on my old shipmate. I'll meet you on the other side.
- Neil and Ginny Haynes, Johns Island, SC