Thomas N. Harbin
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Asheville - Thomas Newton "Tommy" Harbin, 72, of the Deerwood community of South Asheville died July 13, 2014 at the CarePartners Solace Center. He was the son of Jackson Garrett Harbin, who died in 1964 and Julia Martha Cassida Harbin White, who died in 1988. He was also pre-deceased by a brother who died in infancy and by James Harbin who died in 2011. A lifelong Buncombe resident, he attended Asheville Catholic School and Asheville Biltmore College. He served in the Navy as a journalist on the USS Enterprise and USS Intrepid. After his discharge in 1964, he married his high school sweetheart, Joyce Sharon Snipes, by whom he is survived. Starting out in pharmaceutical sales, he moved into a 40 year career in feature sales and marketing for small town newspapers throughout the southeast. He was devoted to the industry and proud to count publishers, press association leaders, and folks in the communities he served as great friends.
Tom served on the North Carolina Railroad Commission and on several boards for Jubilee Community Church, of which he and his wife were founding members when it grew out of Central United Methodist Church. His pastimes and hobbies centered around college basketball and football. He was a volunteer recruiter for UNC-A basketball Coach Bob Hartman for several years after college. He is best known as the consummate, fiercely loyal Tar Heel fan, sought out for his encyclopaedic knowledge of UNC and ACC basketball and football arcana, and for spirited arguments about recruiting prospects. When he stopped working, he discovered the joys of volunteering in the wheelchair corral at the Charles George VA Medical Center.
He is survived by his wife; three daughters, Cynthia "Cindy" Holman (Tom) and Lisa Grice (John) of Asheville, and Molly Just (Chris) of Freeport, Maine; four grandchildren, and six nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to any of these organizations close to Tom's heart: The Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill, https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/RonaldMcDonaldHouseofChape/OnlineDonation.html, 919-913-2040; The Educational Foundation (scholarships for UNC athletes) in memory of Tom Harbin, PO Box 2446, Chapel Hill, NC 27515; the VA Voluntary Services, 1100 Tunnel Road, Asheville, NC 28805; or Jubilee Community Church, 828-252-2335.
Services will be held Saturday July 19 at 1:00 PM, Jubilee Community Church; reception at 2:00 PM Deerwood Clubhouse, 100 Clubwood Court.
Asheville Area Alternative Fnl/Crem Service
702 Riverside Dr Asheville, NC 28801
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on July 15, 2014