The Memorial Candle Program has been designed to help offset the costs associated with the hosting this Tribute Website in perpetuity. Through the lighting of a memorial candle, your thoughtful gesture will be recorded in the Book of Memories and the proceeds will go directly towards helping ensure that the family and friends of Thomas Grizzard can continue to memorialize, re-visit, interact with each other and enhance this tribute for future generations.

Thank you.

Select Candle
Thomas Grizzard
In Memory of
Thomas Jefferson
Grizzard Jr.
1946 - 2017
Click above to light a memorial candle.

The lighting of a Memorial Candle not only provides a gesture of sympathy and support to the immediate family during their time of need but also provides the gift of extending the Book of Memories for future generations.

Leave a condolence


Condolence From: Dixie M. Griffin, Jr
Condolence: Just read of the untimely death of Tom. First met him in graduate school at Va, Tech. A good friend and really nice guy. So sorry.
Friday December 08, 2017
Condolence From: Alan Roberson
Condolence: To Lynn and family, like a lot of other VT graduate students, Tom was a huge positive influence on me during my studies at VT's NoVa Campus. I will always be grateful for his wisdom and encouragement as my advisor. He was great at telling stories and his laugh brightened any story. He will be missed...
Friday July 14, 2017
Condolence From: David Rigby
Condolence: My sincere condolences to Lynn and family. Tom was a remarkable man of character, intellect and respect. Sincerely, David Rigby
Friday July 14, 2017
Condolence From: James Bohland
Condolence: His great laugh and huge heart will be missed dearly.
Wednesday July 12, 2017
Condolence From: Barry Weand
Condolence: I have been putting this off because I could not find the words. Now I realize I will never have adequate words. I have known Tom and his family for 45 years. We were friends in graduate school. We maintained contact even after I moved to Wyoming. In 1978 Tom invited me to join him on a new research project at the OWML. I jumped at the chance and moved east based on a handshake and with no actual written offer. At that time the lab consisted of us and about 6 other employees located in a strip mall in Manassas Park. Over the next 7 years we became partners in a great adventure. We greatly expanded the research program to include other areas around the Commonwealth: the James River, Chesapeake Bay, Hampton Roads, Lake Barcroft, Lake Manassas, and the Rappahannock River. In a few years we outgrew the lab facilities and physically moved the equipment to its present location. At one point the OWML probably employed over 30 people. It became a facility with nationwide recognition.

In 1982 Tom and I succeeded in establishing the graduate environmental engineering program in northern Virginia. That program continues today, and has provided talented professionals who are serving in important positions here and throughout the country.

I noted at his retirement celebration only a few years ago that Tom was uniquely qualified for his position as Director of the OWML. The work there was really entrepreneurial in nature, requiring all the talents involved in running a small business. Tom met the challenge. He not only had the technical training, but he was a hands-on supervisor who would go to the field to help build monitoring stations. He was a capable and respected speaker at public meetings, which was particularly tricky in the early days when occasional fistfights would break out. He was a good writer, which was important in securing research grants. He was indefatigable and committed, and worked beyond the normal hours, and on weekends. When there was a massive oil spill into Bull Run we both went 48 hours without sleep. Not so long ago at one of our lunches together I told him that I envied his long and focused career. The impact of his work will span generations.

It is fair to say that Tom was a brother to me; in fact, he is only a month older than my genetic brother. During our time together at the OWML we were “joined at the hip.” We had individual qualities that complimented each other and worked well as a team. It was one of the landmark times of my life. We shared similar outlooks, on the environment, politics, humor, and life. There were so many experiences that we shared that we could trigger a laughable remembrance with a single word. I will miss that tremendously. I will also miss his easy laugh, his inquisitive nature, his sense of adventure, and his repartee.

I offer my heartfelt condolences to Lyn, Jen, and Josh. I know you are very proud of Tom, as you well should be. He exemplified the Virginia Tech motto “Ut Prosim” [to serve]. Men of his caliber do not often present themselves in a lifetime. RIP, my friend.
Wednesday July 12, 2017
Condolence From: Sue Laufer
Condolence: To Tom's Famiy,
I was deeply saddened to hear of your loss. When Barry told me about the bike accident prior to his passing I knew it was trouble. Head injuries can so easily become fatal for anyone at any age. But at 70 he was far to young to go.
My words can only say that faster is better, lingering on and on with such a level of disability is incredibly sad. My both parents died in last 3 years, my mother at 89 lingered for 1.5 months, and my Dad, at 94, died more peacefully. Altho' unable to walk, he was in great nursing home,and still upbeat. He passed away very quickly of pneumonia last April.
My sister has had Multiple Sclerosis since her late 20's, was stable for many years, declined slowly at first, more quickly after our mom passed. She was moved from her own apt of 45 yrs in Manhattan, to Massachusetts, where the loss of continuity of care came with severe and continuing loss of her many recent former capabilities. It is heartbreaking to watch and be powerless to change her prognosis.
With that said, "Look for the Silver Lining": It was far too soon for Tom to go but going quickly is best. My heart and prayers go to your family.
Monday July 10, 2017
Condolence From: George (Woody) Underwood
Condolence: I am still in shock over Tom's accidental and abrupt passing. Tom has not only been my boss but a dear and caring friend for the last 38 years while working with him at OWML. He always had a good one liner to lighten the atmosphere during trying times. We went through the relocation of the lab and the break through of the "computer age" in the 80's and how it affected our work. We would always speak about the Redskins or Hokies and even more so lately about the Nationals. He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by me. I'll always remember that "because we have always done it that way" is not the answer.

I extend my sincere condolences to the Lynn and the Grizzard family.
Monday July 10, 2017
Condolence From: Marc and Martha Aveni
Condolence: Lynn and family,

We are all so sorry for the loss of Tom! What a great guy! Fly high Tom! Love and prayers from the Aveni family.
Monday July 10, 2017
Condolence From: Toni Trani
Condolence: Dear Lynn Jenny and Josh

My wife Maria Teresa and I are deeply sorry for your loss. Tom was a wonderful person and we will miss his big smile and sense of humor.

God bless you and the rest of your family in such difficult times.


Toni and Maria Teresa Trani
Sunday July 09, 2017
Condolence From: Ken Harmon
Condolence: I will always remember Tom as a colleague and friend in the great adventure we shared of growing the Virginia Tech presence in Northern Virginia ... it could not have happened without Tom's commitment, persistence and professionalism .. and of course his compelling sense of humor and dedication to the wellbeing of his colleagues. Tom, you will be missed and greatly appreciated.
Saturday July 08, 2017
Recently Shared Stories
Recently Shared Photos
Share by: