Thomas Irvin Puett
November 26, 1941 – December 1, 2018
Thomas Irvin Puett sailed into the sunset on December 1, 2018, he was 77 years old. Tom had a fabulous wit and sense of humor and was passionate about everything he did. He was an avid sailor, loved good food and wine, and was a real-estate entrepreneur. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Susan, and his two daughters Anne (Bill) Puett Johnson and Cathy (Wyatt Hines) Puett and his brother William “Billy” Puett. Tom was a native of Atlanta and grew up in Little Five Points. He graduated from Bass High School and received a B.A. in Real Estate from Georgia State. He went to Germany to serve in the Army in his 20s. He met and married his beloved wife Susan there. He returned to Atlanta and began his successful real-estate career. He decided to learn how to sail when he was in his 30’s and that became his passion. He persevered from sailing on lake Lanier to crossing the Atlantic Ocean eight times. He was a member of The Ida Lewis Yacht Club in Newport, The New York Yacht Club and The Cruising Club of America. Tom had a zest for life that included driving fast in his Porche, eating French white truffles, drinking great White Burgundy and cooking excellent food. He loved his friends, and his wife and daughters knew they were the most important things in his life, (except maybe his boat and car).
Tom’s Memorial Service will be held at Patterson Spring Hill Funeral Home on Saturday December 8, 2018 at 10:30am. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Hemophilia Association of Georgia, 8800 Roswell Road, Suite 170, Atlanta, GA 30350-1844.
- Memorial Service Saturday, December 8, 2018
Thomas Irvin Puett
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December 8, 2018
Tommy and I became friends in the 60’s when he lived up the street from Burt and Joe Carroll on Page Ave in Little Five Points. I was living in their mother, Mrs. Carroll’s, attic while working with Burt at the Emory University Admissions Office and attending Emory Law School at night. Joe was working at Milton’s Clothing Cupboard on Peachtree St, and he and I, along with Jimmy Melton and Wayne Sanders, would get together from time to time w/ Tommy and others at Manuel’s, or Moe’s and Joe’s, to solve the world’s problems.
When Uncle Sam finally caught up with me in ‘68, Tommy sold me his old Army uniforms — w/ the standard “friend and family” discount, of course.
Tom was the person I called for advice about leaving the security of the big law firm in downtown Atlanta and starting my own practice in Decatur in ‘72; as usual, entrepreneur that he was, he simply said, “Do it,” and, as usual, it was the right advice.
Some years later, 1984 to be exact, I bought an ocean-going sailboat in Annapolis, and Tom and his daughter Ann joined my daughter Megan and me as together we sailed the boat south from Norfolk to Oriental NC. Tom, thank God, was the cook.
Very recently, indeed only three weeks ago, he and I were planning our trip on his sailboat, the “Perseverance”, from Charleston to Marsh Harbor in the Bahamas; we were going to be enroute for four days — leaving last Saturday and arriving today. But there were other plans we weren’t aware of, and Tommy has made a different trip, one far more exciting for him, and far more painful for all of us.
Fair winds and following seas, my friend. We won’t soon forget your ready smile and quick wit, your dedication and steadfast work ethic, your consummate love of your family, your commitment to your friends, your love of adventure and the sea, and your total commitment to living life to the fullest.
You have been an inspiration and a gift to so many of us. I, and many many more, will miss you.
December 6, 2018
Tom Puett was different. While the rest of us at Mary Lin grammar school were involved in sports (Gray Y) Tom was working. I believe Tom got his work ethic from his mother. As we were throwing balls, Tom was throwing papers. In those days "paper sales" were fund raisers for our school. The classes would compete as the stacks of papers would build up on the playground. Tom's class seldom lost as he and his mother worked tirelessly to bring all the papers his customers would save for him.
This zest for work served him well all of his life. Motivated, competitive, honest and a true friend to those who knew him well. For those who found him abrasive, I refer to the editor's note in the Perseverance Cook Book, "If the formatting of this book p***** you off, well then just throw it away".
I believe God loves diversity and Tom certainly was different. Listen to the heavenly echos....".Well done my son. Well done, well done Captain Tom".
December 6, 2018
Tom, Ed Brash, the two girls and I sailed from West Palm Beach to the Abaco Islands way back in 1986. We left on a Thursday night and crossed the gulfstream in 8 to 10ft seas on the 41 ft. Nauterswan. We took turns watching the helm and to make the auto pilot did not kick off. It was a beautiful night for star gazing and we passed a number of large ships. We arrived the next morning missing our navigation point by maybe a quarter of a mile. We got to our port a little early and had to wait on the tide to come in so the water would be deep enough for our keel. so we took a swim and had some snacks before motoring into port. We drug the keel a bit and it made a hell of a noise. Tom laughed, well I guess we should have waited a little longer.We went to clear customs and the gentlemen we had to see was already at home in his robe watching "Mission Impossible on TV. We showed him our passports and he asked when we were leaving and went back to watching TV. I was working in west palm at the time so my time there was limited and I flew home the following Tuesday. I never forget the taxi ride to the airport, the cab drivers raced each other back to the airport on these gravel dusty roads laughing the entire way.
December 6, 2018
Tom was among my close BHS brothers. He was quick-witted and, like me, shared a sense of humor often sarcastic and biting. I admired and respected his many accomplishments knowing that he, like all my close BHS friends, never forgot where we came from. I shall miss him greatly but always grateful that he and I crossed paths in this life.
December 5, 2018
Susan, Cathy and Anne.............I feel your loss of Tom, my good friend for fifty years. When Tom and I did our first deal together in 1969 or 1970, my dad was still living and advised me to never partner with anyone unless they possessed impeccable integrity and were smarter and richer than me. I heeded this advice in my partnership and friendship with Puett, satisfying my dad's cautionary qualifications! So many cherished memories through both good and challenging times. Puett once wrote me a note after a challenging episode which simply said, "Thank You, you are always there." So have you been, my friend, so have you. And you too Susan. Puett, my friend, with your well known culinary preferances for perfection, I hope to God that, wherever you are, Peking Duck is available! You'll be missed. Tug
December 3, 2018
Oh Captain Puett...your ship took you away far too early...you were my Captain, you were my mate...we sailed your boat three times across the Atlantic Ocean...plus other voyages along our coast...all were unforgettable, glorious adventures...you brought us to a safe harbor every time.....You we’re always first to laugh at my jokes and pranks...I will miss you and every time I see a sailing vessel under a full press of sail I will think of you...sail on my friend, sail on....Charlie Ellis.
FROM THE FAMILY
IN THE CARE OF