Thomas Sherman Abood - “Tommy” - born to Fred and Louise Abood on December 10, 1942 died of complications of a severe stroke on April 18,2019.
To send flowers in memory of Thomas Sherman Abood, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
After graduating from Bishop Kinney High School, Tommy dove headlong into the restaurant business – it was “in his blood” as his father owned one of Jacksonville’s iconic eateries, “The Green Derby”. He started his career at The Steer Room, and over the years owned and operated several renowned restaurants in Jacksonville, including Mr. T’s Steakhouse and The Iron Skillet. His love for steak was only surpassed by his love for chocolate. He was a perfectionist about food and always enjoyed preparing food for his customers as well as his family. While he was a great chef himself, he was happiest eating food prepared by others – particularly his daughter-in-law, Pam Abood, who hosted a multitude of family gatherings over the years. Tommy closed his last restaurant, The Hollywood Grill, in the early 1990’s and pursued a new passion – archaeology.
Tommy was fascinated by Florida’s pre-colonial history and volunteered on several archaeological digs throughout the state of Florida. Forming a close bond with experts in the field, particularly Calvin Jones, Tommy was a student who became a teacher and an expert in certain aspects of Native American art, including pottery, the identification of human and animal remains and Native American life. He was a consultant representing museums and conservation organizations, and he worked to raise awareness about the importance of archaeology and archaeological preservation with developers, legislators and students. As a result of his expertise and knowledge, Tommy was asked to support investigations, such as the discovery at the Dozier Boy’s School and preservation efforts at various Confederate gravesites. He was drawn to support others during the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina – helping to recover and identify people who were lost in that storm. His stories were spell binding – he was happiest when he was “on a dig” or investigating – the more complex, the better.
One of Tommy’s favorite (and overused) words was “complicated”, and he was a complicated person. He was a restauranteur, a body builder, a businessman, a researcher, an archaeologist and so much more. He could fill a room with stories, love, generosity and lots of laughter – the man loved his own jokes especially (and repeatedly!). What he enjoyed most was solitude – the quiet of his home, the peaceful sound of the ocean and the stillness of nature.
Tommy maintained a close relationship with four children – Sam Abood, Lynn Abood, Nancy Abood, Marti Abood-Kirby – and his daughter-in-law Pam. He was revered by 12 grandchildren and blessed with three great grandchildren.
In addition to his children, Tommy is survived by his brother, Fred Abood and two sisters, Pam Abood-Auth and Cheryl Abood. He leaves behind close friends and a binding church community at Lakewood United Methodist Church.
The family would like to acknowledge and thank the staff at ICU Neurology at Baptist Medical and the loving kindness shown by the angels at Community Care Earl Hadlow Hospice.
A time of fellowship will be hosted by Sam, Lynn, Nancy and Marti at Lakewood United Methodist Church at 10:00 on April 27th – followed by a funeral service at 11:00 at the same location.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to one or more of the following organizations: Lakewood United Methodist Church, Florida Trail Association, Florida Archaeological Preservation Association, Community Hospice of Northeast Florida.