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Thomas M. Gwynn Iii

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Thomas M. Gwynn III

Williamsburg - Thomas "Tom" M. Gwynn III, 60, passed away on December 18, 2013, after a long illness, with family and friends at his side. Tom is survived by his wife, Becky (Wajda); his parents, Tom and Beverly Gwynn, of Norfolk; his sister, Emily Jane Gwynn, of Norfolk; his life-long best friend, Don Schwab, of Suffolk; and many friends and extended family who loved him dearly.

All who knew Tom will remember his sense of humor and love of natural history. He was an exceptional field naturalist who generously shared his passion. A generation of naturalists and birders benefited from his wealth of knowledge and his willingness to pass it on. Tom's bird life list was one of the longest in Virginia, and he enjoyed the chase of unusual sightings. He was a true Renaissance man, with a love of art, music, movies, books, stamps, botany, and cooking. Tom received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology from Old Dominion University and continued learning throughout his life. Tom was a generous man with a big heart, giving often of himself to family and friends and to those less fortunate. He loved Christmas and spent the entire year preparing for it. Tom also treasured his two cats, Ginger and Holly.

Born and raised in Norfolk, Tom lived there until 2006, when he and Becky moved to Williamsburg after their wedding. Tom worked for 29 years in the City of Suffolk's Department of Public Utilities, stationed at the G. Robert House, Jr. potable water plant, and retired in December 2012. He took great pride in ensuring that the residents of Suffolk had safe drinking water.

A celebration of Tom's life will be held on January 18 at Legacy Hall, 4301 New Town Ave., Williamsburg, from 4 to 9 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Virginia Society of Ornithology, P.O. Box 5994, Williamsburg, VA 23188-5994, in support of the upcoming Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas.
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Dec. 29, 2013