departed this life peacefully on Saturday September 3, 2011 at the Hospice
of Wake County. Tom was born in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin and grew up in Eau
Claire, Wisconsin. From an early age his passion and talent for sports and
athletic endeavors were evident. In high school he was named to
all-American teams in three sports (football, baseball, and hockey) and
drafted by professional teams in both hockey and baseball. He signed with
the Washington Senators and pursued a career in baseball with the Senators
organization for three years. He continued to play baseball and hockey on
amateur teams until he was in his early sixties against opponents a
generation younger than he was. He had a fierce competitive spirit and
rare passion for the game of sport and the game of life. He was actively
involved in coaching young people in the Raleigh area for many years, both
with the West Raleigh Little League and with the Fuqua Bombs, a traveling
girl's softball team.
After professional baseball, Tom entered the field of sales and marketing
management and worked there until his death. Over a distinguished
forty-year career he served as Vice President of Sales for the Pioneer
Corporation and Vice-President of Sales and Marketing of the KL Spring and
Stamping Corporation. He was Managing Partner of Quality Components
Associates and finally served as President of BadgerRep Associates.
Tom is survived by his six beloved children: daughter Cindy Garnett Irby
and her husband Joe Irby of Lexington, VA; son Thomas Allen Garnett, Jr.
and his wife Angela Garnett of Wake Forest; daughter Jenny Garnett Bryan
and her husband Darrin Bryan of Chapel Hill; son Justin Garnett of
Charlotte; daughter Blair Garnett, currently serving in the Peace Corps in
Ethiopia; and daughter Sarah Garnett of Raleigh. Also surviving him are
his six grandchildren Joseph and Maggie Irby, Jack and Will Bryan,
Channing and Addison Garnett, and his fiancée Judy Akey and her children
Kevin and Michelle and their families.
Tom's zest for life made him a true force of nature. All who knew him will
never forget him. He will be deeply missed and dearly remembered.
A graveside service was held at Wake Memorial Park on Monday, September 5,
2011. The family would like to express its most sincere thanks and
gratitude to the Cancer Center of North Carolina in Raleigh and to Tom's
loving and attentive caregivers at the Hospice of Wake County. Memorial
contributions may be made to the Cancer Center and to the Hospice of Wake
Condolences to bryan-leefuneralhome.com
Published in The News & Observer on September 7, 2011