Thomas Darieng, the last living member of the first Richmond Hill City council and one of the city’s founding fathers, died Thursday at Hospice House of Savannah.
He was 87, and former mayor Richard Davis, who held office from 1989 to 2010 and served on city council prior to that, remembered Darieng as both a "dear friend" and a public servant.
"He was a joy to be around," Davis said. "I also always had a lot of trust in him to do the right thing. In government, you can't satisfy everybody, but he always stuck with doing the right thing for all the people, and that says a lot for him."
Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler also had praise for Darieng, who was appointed to his first term in 1962 when the city was incorporated, then won re-election to the post a number of times.
"Tommy helped set up the original charter, he did a lot for the city and I always enjoyed sitting around talking to him," Fowler said. "I learned a lot of history from him. He will really be missed. He was so highly thought of, that's the thing about Tommy. Eerybody thought so much of him."
Thomas Darieng, 87, died Thursday, March 19, 2015 at Hospice House of Savannah.
Tommy was a lifelong resident of Richmond Hill. A graduate of Richmond Hill High School, he spent time as the 2ndSteam Engine Engineer in the Merchant Marines. He sailed around the world twice and was blockaded in England during WWII. This is where he met his queen and wife, Miss Irene. He was very active in his community. Some of his accomplishments are being a member of Richmond Hill First United Methodist Church, instrumental in forming the Richmond Hill Jaycees, instrumental in the incorporation of Richmond Hill, the last living member of the original Richmond Hill City Council, brought natural gas to Richmond Hill, a builder of Richmond Hill State Park, built, owned, and operated Fort McAllister Marina retiring in 1995, instrumental in founding and served as the first president of the DP Club, and instrumental in getting Highway 144 named after his father. He loved to fish, watch NASCAR, and dance.
Tommy was preceded in death by his wife of sixty years, Miss Irene.
Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Stephen G. and Susan E Darieng of Richmond Hill and their children, Michael, Stephanie, and great grandson, Jacob; a daughter and son-in-law, Debra A. and Louis A. Arnsdroff of Richmond Hill and their daughter, Andrea and William Fawcett and great grandchildren, Sarah, Catherine; and Debra’s other daughter, Allison and Chad Bird and great granddaughter, Avia; a son, Chris Darieng; brother, Theron Darieng of Richmond Hill; sister, Betty Tranthom of Sumpter, SC; and several nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Sunday, March 22, 2015 at Carter Funeral Home Bryan Chapel. Funeral services will be 11:00 Monday, March 23, 2015 at Richmond Hill First United Methodist Church with Reverend Doctor Glenn Martin officiating. Burial will follow at Bryan Neck Presbyterian Church Cemetery.
Remembrances can be made to Hospice of Savannah 1352 Eisenhower Dr. Savannah, GA 31405.
Online condolences can be made at www.carterbryanchapel.com.