Thomas Baxter Black, Jr., age 83, otherwise known as Tommy, Dad, Pop, and Grandy, passed away November 11, 2020. Born October 4, 1937, he was an amazing man, Husband, Dad and Grandfather. lf we had to summon up his life in just a few words, it would be that he was as tough as he was gentle. He was an outdoorsman through and through...a hunter (sometimes with just a camera), fisherman, woodworker, enthusiastic trailblazer, and farmer. And juxtaposed so perfectly to all those interests, were the things that made him gentle. He was a potter, an artist, an amazing cook and lover of fine dining, a storyteller (especially of the ghostly kind), a jokester, a lover of wine, a lover of music and an enthusiastic dancer. The man LOVED to dance. He was a sweet and loving grandfather to four grandchildren, Eric, who went before him and was lovingly waiting for his Grandy to arrive, Thomas Whitener, Kevin and Meredith Dinga who all miss him greatly. They have all, in their own ways, followed in his footsteps. He was married to Lynn Parrish in 1957. Shortly thereafter, they had their first daughter, Allison in 1960, soon to be followed a couple of years later with a second daughter, Leslie. During those early years of marriage, Tom completed his four-year tenure in the Air Force. After the birth of his girls, he spent the next 10 years working on getting his college degree from UNC-Charlotte. Once that milestone was behind him, he accepted a position at JP Stevens in Shelby, NC. After that plant closed, he accepted a position at Stonecutter in Spindale, NC. Lynn and Tom made their home in Rutherfordton, NC where they made deep connections and memories. He loved being involved in the community especially Hospice of the Carolina Foothills where he served as Vice-President and president. There was nothing he loved more than to spend time with his family. The weekends were filled with bonfires, creating trails in the woods with his grandkids, grilling and cooking amazing food, sitting around the dining room table telling stories, laughing and just being together. Our long goodbye began ten years ago when we noticed that things were not quite right after a fall resulting in a head injury. Through his journey with Alzheimer's, Tom never lost his amazing sense of humor or his beautiful contagious smile. The final goodbye arrived and even though we did not want to, we let him go to be whole and fully laugh again. And we know without a doubt, he's dancing to the tunes of Willie Nelson and Glen Campbell.
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