Thomas Wilbur Trout Jr.

Thomas Wilbur Trout Jr.
Thomas Wilbur Trout Jr. | July 23, 1927 – February 9, 2023

July 23, 1927 – February 9, 2023

Thomas Wilbur Trout JR, lovingly known as Tom and “Papa,” peacefully went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Thursday, February 9th, 2023. Anyone who was fortunate enough to meet Tom knows that he was a uniquely uplifting person who always made time for friends and strangers alike.

Born in 1927 in Jacksonville, FL, Tom had a rich and storied childhood, growing up in the historic home, Marabanong, and spending his time on the St. John’s River. He graduated from Landon High School in 1945, after which he immediately enlisted in the Navy at the age of 18. He attended both Florida Southern and Stetson Universities where he received a degree in business administration, which launched his career as a successful entrepreneur and as an active member of the Jacksonville business community, including The Rotary Club and The Northeast Florida Builders Assn.

Tom is perhaps most widely known for his prominently displayed billboard sign on I-95 and Bowden Rd in Jacksonville, on which he displayed short messages of wit, wisdom, and humor that have inspired Jacksonville commuters for decades. The Tom Trout construction company and sign have become a true Jacksonville icon, and both will live on with his son and grandson, Tom Trout III and Tom Trout the IV.

Tom is survived by his wife, Joan Henry Trout, who was truly the love of his life for every moment of every day of their 67-year marriage. Tom and Joan were not only deeply in love every day, but were the best of friends. One story to share is that around 20 years into their marriage when Tom realized his business commitments were cutting into family time, he and Joan spontaneously decided to take up sailing to have dedicated time together; they became avid and accomplished sailors for over 30 years. They also thoroughly enjoyed spending the majority of their time at their lake house in Keystone Heights, FL, where they attended Fresh Start Fellowship Church.

Tom is the proud father of 3 children, Antoinette Silsby (John), Tom Trout III, and Jennifer Porter (Jim). Tom and Joan also have 10 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren and counting, who now and forever will lovingly know him as “Papa.” He and Joan together have served as an incredible foundation and example of kindness, self-sacrifice, and positivity for their entire family and more, which they would undoubtedly attribute to their relationship with Jesus Christ and the strength and purpose He has created in their lives.

Brought to you by Hardage-Giddens Funeral Homes

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