James "Tom" Ivy '69 July 12, 2022 3:34 PM updated: July 12, 2022 3:42 PM
James Thomas (Tom) Ivy
July 27, 1939 - June 26, 2022
James Thomas (Tom) Ivy died from dementia on June 26, 2022 at the age of 82. He was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Edward Everett Ivy and Elizabeth Slater Ivy. He grew up in College Station, Texas and was in the A&M Consolidated High School class of 1957. He attended The University of Texas at Austin where he played cornet in the Longhorn Band. This is where he met his future wife, Aileen Kadjar. Not having a clear idea of what he wanted to do in life, he left UT and joined the US Army. After a year of training, he was sent to Bremerhaven, Germany, to a small detachment of the U.S. Army Security Agency. Aileen joined him in the summer of 1963, and they were married at the town hall one morning with a church wedding that night on the military base.
After Army service, Tom attended Texas A&M and earned both a BS and MS in Botany. In 1973, the family moved to Houston, Texas, where Tom worked as a research biologist for Southwest Research Institute. At SRI, he established a phytoplankton lab, which conducted a 7-year study on Trinity Bay. When the Houston office of SRI closed, the family opted to stay in the Houston area. Tom earned his teacher's certificate and taught middle school and high school science in HISD for the next 18 years.
Tom and Aileen were married for 58 years and had two children, Joyce and Chuck. Tom and Aileen both enjoyed classical music and opera, traveling in North America and Europe, camping, and reading voraciously. Many summers were spent at their A-frame cabin near Cuba, New Mexico. They were both active volunteers in their children's activities. Tom helped with Cub Scouts and Chuck's soccer team, and he went on Girl Scout camping, canoeing and backpacking trips with Joyce. After retirement, Tom volunteered at the Houston Arboretum, guiding school groups, and enrolled his grandkids in the Tadpole Troopers program. He served as Chair of the Houston Sierra Club, Public Relations Director of the White Oak Bayou Association, and Secretary/Treasurer of Hostelling International USA's Southern Region. Always concerned about water pollution, he sampled water for the Texas Stream Team, and participated in the Galveston Bay Foundation biannual meetings.
Tom is survived by his wife, Aileen Kadjar Ivy; children and their spouses, Joyce and Greg Kamla of Sugar Land, TX, and Chuck Ivy and wife, Ashley Mims, of Houston; four grandchildren, Elizabeth and Caroline Kamla, and Lillian and Xander Ivy; sister, Betty and husband, Bill Hatwig; sisters-in-law Leyla Holton, Yvonne and husband Dan Logue; brother-in-law David Kadjar; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews; one great-grandnephew; other family and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Elizabeth Ivy; sister, Margaret Ivy Refino; brother-in-law, Joe Holton; sister-in-law, Bennie Kadjar; and nephew, Douglas Kadjar.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Tom can be made to the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Drive, Houston, TX 77024-7708 or to the Sierra Club Foundation (Lone Star Chapter), P.O. Box 4998, Austin, TX 78765.