Tom was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Towson, Md., on New Years Eve 2019 and died 12 days later. He initially survived the accident, and was recovering (talking, lucid, even cracking jokes about how stupid it is to try to kiss a truck), despite seven surgeries, when he developed a clot in his lungs and suddenly died.
Tom was the oldest of three children and the first in his family to go to college. At Princeton he played on the freshman football team and majored in chemistry. After graduation Tom moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked for several years as a science-policy writer. He then earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Montana, where among other accomplishments he learned how to drive, got married, and set an unofficial record for most overdue books at the library.
He was always torn between research and teaching, but his love of teaching (and his students) eventually won out, and he was a much beloved professor at Georgia Gwinnett College at the time of his death.
Tom is survived by his two sisters, his beloved ex-wife, many friends, and hundreds of students, all of whom he loved and who will miss him.