Obituary Details

Thomas E Byrum

December 31, 1969 - September 2, 2015

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Notes

Thomas Edens Byrum, 66, of Raleigh, NC, died peacefully on September 2, 2015, surrounded by those who loved him most. He was a dedicated and loving father, caring friend, former Air Force staff sergeant, talented folk and classical guitarist, and most importantly, a lifelong Tar Heel.

Tom will be missed for his immense UNC basketball knowledge; wonderful, but sometimes longwinded, storytelling; his love of Lonesome Dove quotes and Robert Service poems; his white Reeboks and LL Bean button downs (two important wardrobe staples); his kind heart and gentle smile; and his ability to carry on a conversation with anyone and everyone he met.

He is survived by his strong, courageous daughter Elizabeth Gray Byrum; smart, world-traveling son Andrew Edens Byrum; longtime friend and former spouse Becky Byrum; extended family from both the Byrum and Edens families; and his many beloved hometown friends from Rowland, NC, to whom he was known as “Tommy.”

This year, he was preceded in death by two of his favorite fellow Tar Heels, Stuart Scott and Dean Smith. He was also preceded in death by his mother, Cornelia Elizabeth Edens; father, Paul Thomas Byrum; and brother, Paul Ashby Byrum.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Transitions LifeCare or the Autism Society of North Carolina. Condolences may be sent to 905 Canterbury Road, Raleigh, NC 27607.

“My God, Woodrow. It has been quite a party, ain't it?” - Augustus McCrae, Lonesome Dove. Tom, we love and miss you.
Posted by:
kayla
Posted on:
September 15, 2015
Hi my name is Kayla and I am a local bible teacher. I am so sorry for the loss of your loved one. There is a very comforting scripture at Isaiah 25:8. It says that soon Jehovah will swallow up death forever and that he will wipe away all of the tears. So we can all look forward to a time when death will be no more. I hope that this scripture can bring some true comfort during these difficult times.
Posted by:
Brett Russ
Posted on:
September 13, 2015
Elizabeth and Matthew,

So sorry to hear about your Dad. Kirby and Diane and I send our condolences.

I had the pleasure of working with Tom for many years. We often discussed the status of the Tar Heels, and most importantly compared notes and often bragged about our children. Kirby and Elizabeth got to know each other on the swim team and later continued being friends at Carolina. Nothing can replace the wonderful man your father was but we can take comfort in the knowledge that he's in a better place and continues to watch over you. We will continue to treasure his memory always.
Posted by:
kayla
Posted on:
September 8, 2015
Hi my name is Kayla and I am a local bible teacher. I am so sorry for the loss of your loved one. There is a very comforting scripture at Isaiah 25:8. It says that soon Jehovah will swallow up death forever and that he will wipe away all of the tears. So we can all look forward to a time when death will be no more. I hope that this scripture can bring some true comfort during these difficult times.
Posted by:
Ms. F. Taylor, Wilson, N. C.
Posted on:
September 6, 2015
Lit a candle in memory of Thomas E Byrum
Posted by:
James Guthrie
Posted on:
September 6, 2015
With great sadness, I received word of Tommy's death. We were part of a "Little Rascals" type group in Rowland and spent countless hours together growing up. At one time, Tommy, Dan Pate, and myself were Rowland's version of The Kingston Trio; should anybody in the future need to know that tidbit. Then, that dreaded day came when his mother decided to take him away from us and ship him off to school. After high school, he then chose to get no education by going to Carolina but I suppose those of us in the educated community can't hold that against him!
We lost contact for decades, as so often happens, but were reunited at the funeral of one of our "Rascals" members, Dougie Bullock, a few years ago. It was as if we hadn't missed a step and I don't suppose it was right to have so much fun together at a funeral but we did with our reminiscing. Tommy, Hank McKellar and I rode to the cemetery together and talked of old times all the way. We lost Hank since Dougie's funeral and now we've lost Tommy. We promised to keep in touch, as one would expect, but those things never seem to work out.
Our sincerest condolences to the family of one of my buddies.
Posted by:
Sallie Henderson
Posted on:
September 3, 2015
Elizabeth and Andrew, I am so very sorry about the loss of your dad. Tommy was very special to me and I have a lot of memories of him.
I remember him demonstrating "the dog" (a dance) in my grandmother's kitchen. The Rowland Rockers. Him singing "Little Egypt came a-struttin'..." when we were at Myrtle Beach. Listening with him, Ashby and my brother and sister to his mom tell ghost stories. When we were all on Emerald Isle he showed me the correct way to load the dishwasher--this came from his deeply analytical mind. He soothed my hurt feelings. The times we talked about books--he got me to read Thomas Wolfe and Hemingway. Most of all I know how devoted he was to you both and how very proud he was of you. I shall miss him so much.
Sallie Henderson
Posted by:
Debra Kaniwec Durbin
Posted on:
September 3, 2015
I loved Tom's smile and his joy for life - and his being a fanatic Tarheel fan with whom I could identify easily. I know he'll be watching games from above. - Debbie Kaniwec Durbin
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