“Thank you to everyone who reached out with love at the passing of my brother Terry Tomalin,” Sarandon, 69, wrote in a Facebook post, linking to Tomalin’s obituary in the Tampa, Florida, paper, where he had served as its outdoors editor. “I will pass on your prayers to his wife and family. This will give you a small idea of who he was.”
According to the obit, Tomalin collapsed while he and Kai, 14, were at the North Shore Aquatic Complex in St. Petersburg, Florida, and he never regained consciousness.
“We are devastated,” his wife, St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, told the paper. “He loved us. He loved his family so much, and we loved him.”
Terry and Kanika are also parents of 12-year-old daughter Nia.
Today Heaven gained the most caring, adventurous, and fun-loving Angel around. My Uncle, Terry Tomalin, passed away this afternoon- very suddenly from a heart attack. He was an avid Outdoorsman, prolific writer, great friend, pillar of the community, and most importantly a dedicated husband and father who had such a fierce love for his family. He leaves behind an incredible wife and two amazing children who can do with all the prayers, love and light you might send their way. Our whole family mourns this heartbreaking loss today, and we are so grateful for the time we had with him and the positivity and dedication he taught us while here.
Eva Amurri Martino, Sarandon’s daughter and Tomalin’s niece, wrote a sweet note about her uncle that she shared to Instagram.
“Today Heaven gained the most caring, adventurous, and fun-loving Angel around,” the 31-year-old actress wrote. “My Uncle, Terry, Tomalin, passed away this afternoon — very suddenly from a heart attack. He was an avid Outdoorsman, prolific writer, great friend, pillar of the community, and most importantly a dedicated husband and father who had such a fierce love for his family. … Our whole family mourns this heartbreaking loss today, and we are so grateful for the time we had with him and the positivity and education he taught us while here.”
Tomalin was known for his investigative approach to every hard news story, and sought to bring that same intrepid reporting to outdoors stories as well, his former colleagues told the Times.
“I feel like Terry would want people to know that he worked hard to put outdoors writing on the same ethical footing with all the other journalism that the St. Pete Times did,” Chuck Murphy said.
Times editor Neil Brown said in a statement that Tomalin’s contribution to the paper extended beyond the publication.
“Terry personified what it meant to be part of a community,” he said. “You think of Terry and you think of his stories about the beauty of being alive and taking advantage of living around Tampa Bay. You think of his volunteer work in the community or you think of him routinely taking 40 kids camping. I can’t imagine that I’ve ever been around a more giving, energetic, can-do man.”
Tomalin and Sarandon are just two of nine siblings.
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