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Bryan Dowd

Tom and I were in the same 1972 cohort in the architecture program at Georgia Tech. Tom greeted everyone with a smile and often a joke, as well. His success at navigating the technically challenging and intensely personal field of architecture comes as no surprise to me. It was a great privilege to call him my friend.

Gary Farmer

Tom was truly one of the "good guys" during the "Golden Age of Regional Mall Redevelopment." I first worked with him, and his terrific TVS team - Cindy Trimble, Paula Stafford, and Hank Spiker, among others - on the expansion and redevelopment of Oglethorpe Mall in Savannah, GA. His super talented TVS team was just the ticket for a wet behind the ears development manager's (moi) at Dusco Property Management, fresh out of the Federated (Macy's) real estate department. I will never forget how happy Tom and the TVS team was at the presentation in Las Vegas when we won that ICSC award. One thing you could count on was a creative and talented approach that got great results, but with an eye on the cost and getting biggest bang for the buck, as we used to say. More importantly, the Tom and his TVS team was fun to work with, and being the first in my experience, they set the standard for numerous other good design firms that I and my staff worked with over the years (MSTSD as one example) over the years at Dusco and then Compass Retail. I recall the last night of an ICSC convention in Vegas when Tom and others took me out to dinner and was determined to teach me how to play craps, which by some miracle, he did. Beginners luck netted me $300, and I had to literally force Tom to take back the $50 grub stake he gave me when we hit the tables. He was a good man, a good friend, and a consummate professional, and he will be missed by many. Sincere condolences to Lynda and family and too many other friends to count. Go with God, Tom.

Laurie Born

So sad to hear of Tom's passing. I was fortunate to work for him at TVS.

Lynn Mayer

Years of memories as neighbors in Atlanta with Tom and Lynda and their family. We send our deepest condolences and prayers to Lynda and her family.

James "Tom" Porter


J. Thomas Porter (Tom) 74, of Fernandina Beach, Florida, passed away on Sunday, November 6, 2022 at The Jane and Bill Warner Community Hospice in Fernandina Beach with his wife Lynda and daughter Jennifer holding his hands.

Tom was born on January 9, 1948 in Orlando, Florida to the late Sarah Frances Hancock and Charles Thomas Porter. He grew up in Orlando, Fl.
He lived next-door to an architect. His fascination with architecture began early. Tom graduated from Boone High School in 1966. He went on to study architecture at Georgia Institute of Technology, graduating, in 1972 with a Bachelors of Architecture degree. Prior to graduation in 1972, he was recognized as a national design award winner in the Paris Prize Competition. After graduation Tom began working for the architectural firm Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates. (tvsdesign) He became involved in retail design, designing and renovating many retail centers, while overseeing the retail design team for tvsdesign. He was a member of the American Institute of Architecture and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Tom was heavily involved in the ICSC CENTERBUILD conference held every November for retail design and real estate professionals dedicated to planning and developing retail focused developments. In 2012 he was a recipient of the ICSC Trustees Distinguished Service Award.

Tom was a lifelong Georgia Tech football fan and die hard Atlanta Braves Fan. He was a family man who would do anything he could to help take care of them. Tom and Lynda joined Oak Grove UMC in the early 1990’s. Tom and Lynda fell in love with Fernandina Beach, Fl. in the late 1970’s. In 2012 Tom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He became active in PD support groups and fitness groups working diligently to fight the progressive disease. In 2017 as PD began to progress for him, Tom and Lynda made the move to Fernandina Beach.

Tom leaves behind his wife Lynda of 53 years of Fernandina Beach, Fl., his son, Jim (Shannon) of Loganville, Ga.; daughter, Jennifer (Michael) Welch and 4 grand children of Sumter, SC.; sister in law, Kathy (Greg) Lorenz of Altamonte Springs, Fl. Tom was preceded in death by his son, Jason of Atlanta, Ga.

A celebration of life service will be held at 11 A.M. on Saturday, January 7, 2023 at Oak Grove United Methodist Church, Decatur, Ga. 1722 Oak Grove Road, Decatur, Ga. 30033. The family will receive guests at a reception immediately following the service.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Tom’s memory to the Parkinson’s Foundation or the Georgia Tech College of Architecture.

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