The Transylvania Times -

Rev. Thomas "Tom" Willoughby Sr.


Last updated 7/21/2021 at 2:39pm

Rev. Thomas "Tom" Willoughby Sr.

Rev. Thomas "Tom" Willoughby Sr., 70, of Marion, N.C., went home to his heavenly reward Tuesday, July 20, 2021, after a life well lived.

He was born March 5, 1951, in Bladen County, N.C., to Mildred Johns Willoughby, of Lumberton, N.C., and to the late Alex C. Willoughby Sr. He joined the Army at the age of 17 and received a Purple Heart in battle. On Dec. 18, 1970, he married the love of his life, Patricia Strickland Willoughby, and recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. He devoted his life to God and faithfully served as a minister for over 20 years, until he retired from ministry.

In addition to his mother, those left behind to cherish his memory are his loving wife; three children, Lori and Johnny Holbrook, of Sapphire, Thomas Willoughby Jr., of Newport, N.C., and Tonya and Chad Mease, of Marion, N.C., as well as his god daughter, Cori and Levi Schultz, of Morehead City, N.C. He was also a wonderful "Papa" to his seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He is survived by two brothers and six sisters, as well as countless nieces and nephews.

The family would like to extend their gratitude to the amazing staff in the MICU at Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, for all the love and care they showed their loved one during his recent illness.

A Celebration of Tom's Life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 31, 2021, at Zion Hill Baptist Church, 1036 Zion Hill Road., in Marion, N.C., with Dr. Tom Walker and Rev. Alex Willoughby officiating. The family will receive friends following the service.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a donation in Tom's memory are asked to consider the Sheep Dog Impact Assistance WNC, 271A Old Barn Road, Hendersonville, NC 28791.

Westmoreland Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at


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