Tom Edwards Girardeau, 44, passed away April 27 at his home in West Chester, Penn. He was raised in Claxton, attended public schools in Claxton, and was the Star Student of his 1991 senior class. He graduated from the University of Georgia with an AB in chemistry in 1996. He received his Ph.D. in polymer chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2001. Tom immediately went to work for MeadWestvaco in Charleston, S.C. in their research and development department. While there he led his research team to develop a superior asphalt product named Evotherm that could be poured cold, and it was patented by MeadWestvaco. He was hired by Henry Company in 2012 as technology director of research and development where his expertise with asphalt was used to create new construction materials. He was a scholar and a gentleman, and he loved science and nature. In his spare time he shared his knowledge on websites that allow children to ask science questions and be answered by qualified volunteer scientists. Tom is survived by his parents, Lee and Ellen Girardeau; a sister, Jill Girardeau (Andrew Munro); two nephews, Thomas Munro and Alexander Munro; devoted friend, Kristin Ryan; his canine companion, Dugan; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. The memorial service will be private, but friends and family will be welcome for visitation on Saturday, May 19, at 3 p.m. at the Parker Family Life Center. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Evans County Library to the Tom Girardeau Science Fund for purchase of science books and publications.