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Tom was born January 6, 1929 in San Antonio, Texas. He was the only son of Dr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Pressly of San Antonio and descended from pioneer families of Texas and South Carolina. He was a member of St. Mark's Cathedral in Shreveport, where he spent the last 20 years of his life with his wife, Emily Cameron Pressly.
Tom's formative and professional years were spent in San Antonio. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School. In 1950 he received his undergraduate degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia where he served as Commander of the Sigma Nu Fraternity.
Following the outbreak of the Korean War, Tom enlisted in the United States Air Force. In 1951, he graduated from Officers Candidate School. In 1952-53 he served as a Reconnaissance Officer in Korea during the war.
In 1953 Tom entered architectural school at the University of Texas, Austin training under the leadership of the Texas Rangers. He received his degree in Architecture in 1957 and returned to San Antonio with his wife, Emily, whom he married August 25, 1954.
Tom opened his architectural firm in 1961 and practiced architecture for 25 years. He served as architect for the San Antonio Zoo and designed homes, ranches, and lake houses in Texas. He was a member of the Texas Society of Architects. He served on the Board of the San Antonio Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and received honor awards from the AIA for his work. Tom also received recognition from the National Society of Architects for his participation in the design of the San Antonio Riverwalk, El Paseo del Rio. He represented the AIA on Mayor Cisnero's Target 90 Task Force for the City of San Antonio.
In 1969 Tom began to paint. For the next 17 years he successfully integrated painting into his architectural schedule. His paintings received awards in exhibitions throughout the U.S. Tom was honored as Artist of the Year by the San Antonio Art League in 1981. Tom was a signature member of the National Watercolor Society, the San Antonio Watercolor Group, and the Texas Watercolor Society, which he served as President. He was a past member of the Board of Directors of the San Antonio Arts Council, The Contemporary Artist Group, and the San Antonio Watercolor Group.
Tom retired from architecture in 1986 and moved with Emily to Castletownshend, Ireland where he continued painting for six years. His paintings were exhibited in galleries and museums throughout Ireland. He was a member of St. Barrahanes Anglican Church while overseas.
In 1992 Tom and Emily returned to the States. He designed a home for them on Cross Lake, "Notre Monde", in Shreveport Louisiana to be close to his son, Tom, and his family. He continued painting with one-man exhibitions in Shreveport and San Antonio. Today his paintings can be found in museums and private collections throughout the United States, Ireland, England, and France. He served the Shreveport community for many years as a Board Member of Shreveport Green.
For over 50 years, Tom remained an active member of the Texas Cavaliers and the Order of the Alamo in San Antonio. He was a long-time member of the San Antonio German Club, the Argyle, the San Antonio Country Club, and the Friends of the McNay Art Museum.
Tom was preceded in death by his mother and father, Dr. and Mrs. Thomas A Pressly; his grandparents Dr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Pressly and Mr. and Mrs. William Cullen Crews; his sister, Jeanette Pressly Street (Mrs. Joe Street); and his niece, Billie Street Jeffers.
Tom is survived by his beloved wife, Emily, of 59 years and by his son, Dr Thomas Pressly III and daughter-in-law, Tracy, his daughter Lisa Pressly Charbonnet and husband, Clark, and his daughter Laura Pressly Smith and husband, Howard. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Catherine Pressly Herring and husband, Mason; Thomas Alexander Pressly IV and wife, Maggie; Cameron Richner Charbonnet and wife, Sarah; Alexander Pressly Charbonnet and wife Sarah; Sean Christopher Smith, Emily Carra Smith, and Naomi Celeste Smith. Also surviving him is his niece, Virginia Street Koehl and husband, Dr. Gary Koehl and their sons, Joseph and Daniel Koehl and wife, Lindsey; and his great-nieces, Virginia Gray Jeffers and Aimee Jeffers Locke and husband, Stacy.
He will be remembered dearly by his friends Peg and Rich Calvert, Nancy and Frank Adelman, Barbara and Paul Wenger, Sally and Albert McNeel, Joci and Joe Straus, and all those who allowed him to be part of their lives through his architecture and love of art.
MAY 2, 2014
PORTER LORING CHAPEL
RECEPTION TO FOLLOW
The Reverend Dr. Wayne Carter, St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, Shreveport, LA, officiating. Honorary Pallbearers include Richard Calvert, Frank Adelman, Paul Wenger, Jr., Joe Straus, Jr., Ray Romano, Dr. Gary Koehl, and Albert McNeel, Jr. In lieu of flowers, the family would like memorials sent to Children and Arthritis, 2751 Albert Bicknell Drive, Suite 2E, Shreveport, Louisiana 71103 or the Texas Cavalier Charitable Foundation, P.O. Box 6927, San Antonio, TX 78209.
"He Made The Sun Run"
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Published in Express-News on Apr. 27, 2014