The Obit For Tom Garnett

Thomas Allen Garnett
February 11, 1941 - September 3, 2011

Published in The News & Observer on September 7, 2011

Tom Garnett 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 County.