William Thomas Utter, Jr.
William Thomas Utter, Jr. passed away peacefully surrounded by family, July 16, 2022, in Dallas, TX. He was born in Asheville, NC, May 16, 1945, the only child of William Thomas and Crystal Sansbury Utter.
Tom is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 57 years, Susan, his daughter and son-in-law Amy and Matthew Banks of Dallas, his granddaughter Kathryn Banks of Chicago, IL and his cousin Martha Derrick of Charleston, SC. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Tom received a BA from Clemson University; studied and taught economics at Texas Tech University and Southwest Texas State University.
Tom was Director of the Sinton, TX, Urban Renewal Agency when it received the first Community Development Block Grant awarded in the United States, February 5, 1975.
In 1976, Tom joined the City of Corpus Christi, TX, to manage the City’s Housing and Community Development program. As Assistant City Manager, he concentrated on Housing and Community Development, grant programs, planning, intergovernmental relations, and economic development. During his career in Corpus Christi, he worked with eight city managers and six mayors.
Tom retired as Assistant City Manager in Corpus Christi, January 31, 2002; then contracted to manage the City’s Legislative affairs, lobbying in Austin, retiring again, July 1, 2007.
Tom served as President of the National Community Development Association (NCDA) in 1997-1998, and was a life member of its Board of Directors. A long-standing member of the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center Executive Board, he was an active, enthusiastic and generous supporter of ensuring its continuing success and impact.
Tom loved tinkering with his 26 antique mantel clocks, cultivating his night-blooming cereus plants, scratching the chins of many different cats, and cheering on his Clemson Tigers. He and Susan traveled throughout the US and Europe finding art glass to admire and purchase everywhere. Tom never met a stranger, never turned down an opportunity to visit a taqueria, and never stopped bragging to anyone and everyone about his granddaughter.
A celebration of Tom’s life will be held at the Art Center Corpus Christi on August 6, 2022 at 5pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his name to the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center (stxbot.org or 361-852-2100) or charity of your choice.
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