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Thomas “Tom” W. Arrington, 79, of Charlotte, passed away on January 8, 2023 after a long and courageous battle with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.
He was born in Norfolk, VA on November 19, 1943 to the late James W. Arrington and Edith Price Arrington. After the passing of his mother, Edith, when Tom was very young, he was raised by his dad and second wife, Rachel Bennett.
After 41 years of federal service, Tom retired from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City, FL where he was in charge of the Logistics Group providing weapons systems technical support including design drawings, technical manuals and spare parts provisioning for the U.S. Navy.
Tom loved the beach and taking trips. In fact, it didn’t bother him at all to hop in his car, notably a sports car, and take a road trip to visit friends or new places. He loved watching all sports, especially University of Virginia; yes, nerve-racking, nail-biting UVA was his favorite.
After going to his first race in 1963 with his dad, he loved attending NASCAR races with close friends Richard and Sandy Hall, Jim and Jane Dyer and his family. But he particularly loved continuing that tradition with his daughter, Emily, and grandson, Andrew. Above all, Tom enjoyed watching his five amazing grandkids grow up. He was an incredible dad and granddad who was always available to attend a baseball game, have a conversation, watch a cartoon, share a dessert, read a book or fix things around the house.
His first wife, Sue Osborne Arrington, preceded Tom in death in 2000. He is survived by his wife of over 12 years, Barbara Conrad Arrington of Charlotte, NC, who is so thankful he came into her life and the lives of her family. He is also survived by his daughter, Emily Stiller (Brad) of Concord, NC; Barbara’s daughters, Stacy Clarke (William) of St. John’s, FL and Kelly Zingelmann (Kurt) of Raleigh, NC; as well as five grandchildren: Andrew Stiller, William and Katie Clarke, and Leo and Isla Zingelmann. He is also survived by his mom, Rachel Bennett of Stedman, NC; brother, James Arrington (Pat) of Virginia Beach, VA; and sisters, Jean Hartless of Salisbury, NC and Becky Hedrick (Vadis) of Dublin, VA and many nieces and nephews.
A special thanks and appreciation go to Dr. Geoffrey Rose, Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute, Dr. Luke Neilans and staff at Atrium Health, Dr. Craig Rackley, Lisa Holmes, Shannon Tilley and Christine Anderson at Duke University Pulmonary Clinic and Stacey Manley and the rest of the wonderful staff at Atrium Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center.
Per Tom’s request, there will not be a memorial service. You may honor his memory by donating to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (pulmonaryfibrosis.org) and of course, rooting for a UVA sports team.
1 Corinthians 13 speaks to the Way of Love: “So now faith, hope, and love abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Tom Arrington lived his life in the Way of Love.
Carolina Cremation is assisting the Arrington family. Online condolences may be made at www.carolinacremation.com.