One of the handful of Oklahomans in the class, Tom died Jan. 23, 2022. He graduated first in his class from Central High School in Muskogee, where he played on the state champion Roughers football team. As a Tiger, he played freshman and JV football, joined Cannon Club, majored in economics, drilled with Army ROTC, and roomed with C. Allen, the brothers Belz, Pachios, and Viola. Deferring military service, he graduated from University of Oklahoma Law School in 1962, then donned the khaki and served at Fort Bliss, Texas, married Sudye Neff, passed the Texas bar, and in 1968 moved to Oklahoma, where he opened his own law office and was appointed a public defender for Tulsa County.

Tom’s legal career spanned 30 years, primarily involved with environmental matters in both state and federal courts. A singular achievement was a water-rights case that he successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. In the latter part of his career, he served as an attorney for the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals. He was a founding and life member of the Sierra Club of northeast Oklahoma, a life member of Save the Redwoods League, and a recipient of the Oklahoma Wildlife Federation Conservationist of the Year Award.

Tom is survived by his son, Andrew; his daughter, d’Alary; grandchildren John and Isabel; his brother, James; and his sister, Mary Jane.

Undergraduate Class of 1959