Thomas Harbin
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Thomas N. Harbin

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,, 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.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Asheville Citizen-Times on Jul. 15, 2014.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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21 entries
August 6, 2014
So sorry to hear of Tom's passing. My condolence to Sherry and her daughters. May loving memories help sustain all of you in the days and weeks to come.
Kathleen Shurling
July 28, 2014
Tom was a class act,a wonderful character and a true Tar Heel. I loved him like a father...the void his passing leaves can not be filled....Rest In Peace.
Wes Grooms
July 20, 2014
So very sorry to have just heard about Tom's passing. I worked with Tom for twenty years via The Tribune, Elkin, NC. We had some good times and shared so many of the same thoughts about life. I can truly say that Tom was a cherished and worthy friend. Rest in peace old buddy, see you again one day soon. My condolences to the entire family.
July 20, 2014
sorry to hrar about Tom--we shared the love of UNC Bball thru the internet--he was fun to communicate with.Everyone will miss him. Mike Cooke-UNC basketball 1964'
July 19, 2014
Sherry, I tried to go to Tom's funeral at 12:30 but the parking was such I couldn't stay. The lot was full and I drove around twice but wasn't lucky enough to get a space. I am so sorry. My thoughts are with you. Love, Patrice
July 17, 2014
Sherry, This has to be the strangest thing. I have had you on my mind a lot lately and decided I would try to find you on facebook....Had no luck, so I looked for Tommy and somehow came up with this obituairy from the 13th. Today is the 17th of July. We were friends at Limestone and you were in my wedding which will be 50 years ago on the 16th of August. I am so sorry to learn of this tragedy in your life. Please contact me and lets talk when you feel up to it. In the mean time, please know that you and the girls are in my prayers. So saddened to learn of your loss. God Bless, Nancye Caskey Hammond
July 17, 2014
My heart is saddened to hear of Tom's passing. We go through life meeting people and along the way you meet a few that forever will stay in your heart and thoughts. Tom was one of these and I am forever thankful to have meet this special man. Always a kind word and a laugh that would keep you smiling for days. From all of your friends here at the Shopper till we are able to sit and laugh again, farewell or as Robert would say "I'll talk to soon oh boy".To the family our hearts and prayers go out to each and everyone. Sincerely, Robert, Adrienne and Lynn
The Lake City News & Shopper Lake City, SC
Lynn Russ
July 17, 2014
Tom was a good friend and a great man. I will miss him. My prayers go to his family.
Larry Franklin
July 17, 2014
You will be missed. I loved and cherish your great "quick wit" and laughter. You were a great man and wonderful Dad. Love to you all. Allen. B. Hayes
Allen Hayes
July 16, 2014
I loved my good friend Tom. Although he was a "Tar Heel", we managed to find common ground during football and basketball seasons. I loved his spirit; the unique manner in which he lived his life. He was in charge of his destiny, accepted nothing less than what he desired, and was a true friend in all sense of the word. I will miss Tom, his laughter, and wry sense of humor. I know Sherry, Cindy, Lisa, Molly and the grandchildren will miss him too.
Tom Parker
July 15, 2014
Sherry, you and I haven't seen each other for years and here we are sharing such great loss. My heart and prayers are with you and your family. Love, Patrice Vincent
July 15, 2014
We are so sorry for your loss. It was a great privilege to know Tom Sarah Anne and Riddick Lamm
July 15, 2014
God bless you Tom, and your family!
Mark Vick
July 15, 2014
Cassandra Fowler
July 15, 2014
a life long friend i weep for but smile at all the things we it hoops or
double dating in his '53 buick..sherry and girls tom was one of a kind..have so many stories will tell you next we meet.will miss tom more than you ever will know....God bless you all
July 15, 2014
Sherry, Cindy, Lisa, Molly and family. You are in my thoughts and prayers. May God's peace give you strength. I love you guys !
Anne Buckner
July 15, 2014
Sherry, Cindy, Lisa, Molly and family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Anne Buckner
July 15, 2014
I remember and miss the great conversations that I had with Tom too many years ago. Tom was totally unique individual who has left this home for a better home.
Larry KImel
July 15, 2014
Sherry & Girls, So sorry to hear about Tom. You are in my prayers.

Charlotte Core, Atlanta, GA
July 15, 2014
There is no way to tell you how sorry we were to hear about Tommy. I know God will give you the strength to get through this time. We will always remember our fun times together. Love, Dennis and Judy Russell
July 15, 2014
Tom, I'm going to miss my Tarheel buddy.
Judy Palazzo
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