Dr. Thomas Delette Potts, born September 27, 1942 in Aiken, South Carolina, died June 4, 2021. He was Professor Emeritus at Clemson University in South Carolina; retired, but still serving his community through participation and support of the arts, progressive activism, and environmental conservation. He had been a resident of Gadsden County for the past couple of years and before that he lived in both Franklin, North Carolina and Asheville, North Carolina where he produced photography featuring community at work and play, the incredible architecture of the city of Asheville and the awesome display of natural environment that is the Great Smokey Mountains. He graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelors in Anthropology, from University of Southern Mississippi with a Masters in Recreation and Parks and from Texas A & M with a Doctorate in Recreation Resource Management. He produced and managed an international service program at Clemson and retired with academic and working partnerships in Slovakia, Turkey and Ecuador. Prior to Clemson, he worked in satellite programs for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and in the US Congress in oceanic technology and space science and applications. His programs on natural development of hospitality and environmental resources won award after award and he received honors throughout his career including a Fulbright Scholarship in Slovakia, the Strom Thurmond Associate Award, the Leadership Beaufort Award and others. He leaves literally hundreds of presentations, publications (manuals, guides, abstracts, and workshops) many of which are still used and followed academically and practiced all over the world. He was a member of Phi Sigma, the National Biological Sciences Honor Society and Master Mason of the Auburn Mason Lodge in Learned, Mississippi. He is survived by one daughter Sarah Potts, a music & language student at Middle Tennessee State. Sarah comforted her father while he was in TMH by playing flute melodies and lullabies during their visits. Tom has several siblings, his brother Alan Potts ( and his two sons) of Tallahassee, sister Becky Willis from Thomasville, Georgia (one son and two daughters) and his sister Anne Morris (husband Glen and two daughters) from Flagler Beach, Florida. Anne was at her brother’s bedside while he was passing on, as were his Guardian/companion Marjorie Swindell and his caretaker Kelly Robin Cook both of Havana, Florida. Tom was loved by many, admired and respected throughout every industry and area he worked in and hailed from a legendary group of archeologists all of whom, including Dr.Potts, were leaders in their chosen fields. Tom showed up when needed, he served tirelessly and he counted.
Donations may be made to the following charities:
Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge
Make a Tribute Donation on their website
Dementia Alliance of North Carolina
No services are planned at this time.
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