M. Thomas Hester
1941 - 2020
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Dr. Marvin Thomas Hester

July 22, 1941 - February 8, 2020

Raleigh, NC

M. Thomas Hester, father, husband, scholar, and teacher, passed away on February 8, 2020 from complications arising from a long struggle with dementia.

Marvin Thomas Hester was born July 22, 1941, in Owensboro, Kentucky. He received his BA from Centre College in 1963 and his PhD from the University of Florida in 1972. From 1971 to 2013, Dr. Hester was a member of the NCSU English Department. During his distinguished career, he won numerous awards both for teaching and scholarship. His scholarship on the work of John Donne was no less impressive; he was the author/editor of eight books and numerous essays.

His passion and exuberance were not limited to his scholarly pursuits. Everywhere Tom went, he charmed people and made friends – from students in his classrooms to his friends at the Wendy's on Creedmoor Rd. His winning smile, passion for life, love for all people, and wickedly silly sense of humor never abated, even to the end.

Tom was preceded in death by his wife Grace in 2009, and is survived by his loving daughter, Claire. His family wishes to express gratitude for the devoted support provided by his guardian, Kim Cannan, and his longtime caregiver, Joannetta Reid during the last few years of his life.

A funeral service will be held Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 2:30 p.m. at Church of the Nativity, 8849 Ray Road, Raleigh NC. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be given in honor of Dr. Hester to Church of the Nativity and the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The News and Observer on Feb. 11, 2020.
Funeral service
02:30 PM
Memories & Condolences
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4 entries
February 17, 2020
Claire, we are so sorry to hear this news. In my experience, your father was gruff and kind in equal measure--and always supportive. We are thinking of you.
Chris Leming
February 15, 2020
With a sad heart will always remember our few times togetherLove and will miss you Susan Oliva(sister)
Susan Oliva
February 15, 2020
May you Rest In Peace my dear brother please give our mother a big kiss for me. Love always. Nancy
February 12, 2020
Dr Hester was a wonderful teacher. I feel very fortunate to have been in his class. My deepest condolences to his family.
Rhonda Webb
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