STATESVILLE - Thomas Michael Lassiter, 72, passed away Tuesday evening, Oct. 9, 2012 at his home. He was born Nov. 16, 1939 in Burlington, N.C., the son of the late John Jacob Lassiter and Mable Saunders Lassiter.
Mike was a 1958 graduate of Walter Williams High School in Burlington. He attended Appalachian State Teachers College on a wrestling scholarship, where he earned his degree in Social Studies and Physical Education in 1962. On May 27, 1962, he married Billie Gray Thomas Lassiter, who survives.
Mike taught history at George Washington High School in Danville, Va. from 1963 to 1965 where he also coached wrestling and football. He decided to continue his education at the UNC-Chapel Hill Law School from 1965 to 1968. Upon graduation, Mike joined the Kennedy Covington Law Office in Charlotte, N.C. and represented them in Boone, N.C. from 1969 to 1970. In October of 1970, he came to Statesville and joined the Law Office of Chamblee, Nash and Frank. Later, he became a partner with Marvin Bondurant in the office of Bondurant and Lassiter.
In 1982, he opened his own practice. His son, Mike Jr., joined him in 1994 and the firm became Lassiter and Lassiter, where he practiced until his health began to fail in 2008. His son continues to operate the law firm.
He was a member of Broad Street United Methodist Church, where he served as an usher for many years and as a member of the Administrative Board, He was a former member of the Statesville Jaycees and was also a member of the N.C. Bar Association and the Iredell County Bar Association. During his free time, he enjoyed trips to the beach, playing golf, shagging, beach music and being with his family.
In addition to his wife of 50 years, he is survived by son, T. Michael Lassiter Jr. (Kate) of Davidson, N.C.; daughters, Sydney L. Lowe (James) of Raleigh, N.C., Laura L. Kriofske (Kris) of Winston-Salem and Sarah L. Mason (Matt) of Nashville, Tenn.; nine grandchildren, Grace, Erin and T. Michael Lassiter III, Charlotte, Grayson and Lucy Lowe and Isabel, Anna and Scarlett Kriofske; step-grandchildren, Blaise, Schuyler and Hunter Howe.
Mike is further survived by sister, Diana L. Hanford of Burlington, N.C.; brothers, Don Lassiter (Susan) of Charlotte, N.C., Steve Lassiter (Vicki) of Burlington, N.C. and Randy Lassiter (Martha) of Salisbury, N.C.; aunts, Jessie L. Shaw of Troy, N.C., Stella L. Morgan of Ether, N.C. and Jean L. Saunders of Salisbury, N.C.; uncle, Bob Lassiter (Marty) of Arlington, Va., and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
A service to celebrate Mike's life will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 at Broad Street United Methodist Church with the Rev. Dr. Michael Gehring and the Rev. Jennifer Bingham officiating. The family will receive friends in Memorial hall after the service. Burial on a later date will be in Oakwood Cemetery.
The family is grateful for the wonderful care given by the staff of Gordon Hospice House, Hospice Home Care, as well as by Kim and Joe Lancaster, his caregivers. Many thanks to Dr. Andrew Braunstein for his guidance and treatment over the course of Mike's battle with Parkinson's disease.
The family would also like to express gratitude for the outpouring of love and concern from friends throughout Mike's illness.
Memorials may be made to Broad Street United Methodist Church Capital Campaign Fund, P.O. Box 169, Statesville, NC 28687; Gordon Hospice House, 2347 Simonton Road, Statesville, NC 28625; or, to Friends of the Animals, P.O. Box 3937, Mooresville, NC 28117.
Online condolences may be made at www.nicholsonfunerals.com
Nicholson Funeral Home is serving the family of T. Michael Lassiter.