Thomas Johnston Dimmock
1949 - 2015
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Thomas Johnston Dimmock

Raleigh

Thomas Johnston Dimmock, former governor of the Carolinas District of the Kiwanis Club, active member of Trinity Baptist Church, lawyer, husband, father and friend, died suddenly on January 21. He was 65.

Tom, as he was known to the thousands he loved and served, will be remembered during a visitation with his family on Saturday, January 24, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Trinity Baptist Church in Raleigh. A memorial service will be held at Trinity on Sunday, January 25, at 4 p.m., with Dr. Jeff Roberts officiating. Interment of his ashes will be in the Trinity Columbarium.

Tom is survived by his wife of 41 years, Boyd King Dimmock, of Raleigh; two daughters and sons-in-law, Julie Anna and Ben Kaufman of Raleigh, and Laurie and Brian Nappier of Huntersville; and three much-loved grandchildren, Annalise Nappier, Micah Kaufman and Vivian Nappier.

Tom also leaves behind two sisters and brothers-in-law, Martha Campbell and husband Gill of Montreat, and Ellen Begley and husband Mike, of Black Mountain; one brother and sister-in-law, Frank Dimmock and wife Nancy, of Louisville, Kentucky; and two brothers- and sisters-in-law, Bob King and wife Penny, of New Bern, and Bill King and wife Julie, of Raleigh. A host of nieces and nephews, and a large community of friends, also mourn him.

Born in Elkins, West Virginia, into a family of active and international pastors, caregivers and missionaries, Tom was a man of action and principle, never known to rest when there were goals to be met, wrongs to be righted, or problems to be solved. He had a specific gift for seeing and working on levels both global and local, public and private. Constantly in motion, with a big laugh and big smile, he could be found in one moment speaking to an auditorium of thousands about the necessity of a global children's health campaign, then working behind the scenes in the next to wash dishes or pack cars.

In the days before he died, he led 40 teenagers to do yard work at Haven House, a shelter for homeless teenagers; helped to found a new Key Club; and biked 35 miles along the Neuse River greenway.

Tom was a proud 1971 graduate of N.C. State University, where he majored in economics, and in 1975 he earned his law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Tom chose a career in law because he believed in helping the "little guy," working in both defense and family law as well as serving as an adviser to the Family Law section of the North Carolina Bar Association. He founded his own firm and in later years crafted countless wills pro bono for friends and family.

Both Tom and Boyd were part of the bedrock of Trinity Baptist Church, joining just after their marriage in 1973 and immediately jumping in to teach Sunday School, sing in the choir, and serve on numerous committees. Over the course of the years, Tom ministered to others as a deacon, trustee and trustees chairman, endowment committee member, Habitat for Humanity leader, and teacher of Sunday School and Bible study. His Sunday School class, known simply as the "Tom Dimmock Class," has members going back some 40 years.

In the sanctuary choir, Tom was known for his wide smile and love of belting out every last note. Two years ago, when the Trinity choir made their stage debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Tom was the first to be spotted by family members sitting very far away in the cheap seats – not because he could be heard from that distance, but due to the fact that Tom and his hymnbook danced with each downbeat, his entire body in song.

Tom believed he was blessed and felt called to give back, helping to found the Kiwanis Club of Wake Forest some 30 years ago. A charter member and president, he led his fellow Kiwanians in countless projects to meet the Kiwanis mission of "improving the world, one child and one community at a time." Tom went on to serve as both governor and lieutenant governor of the Carolinas District, which covers both North and South Carolina and includes some 180 Kiwanis clubs and 6,000 members, many of which Tom help start or recruit. He was then elected a trustee of Kiwanis International, where he worked for three years. In 2012, he won the Carolinas District's first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award. At the time of his death, he was serving as Carolinas District parliamentarian and as co-chair of the Project Eliminate campaign, having raised more than $3 million to eradicate maternal and child tetanus.

He was also a member of the board of directors and parliamentarian for the North Carolina State Convention and lawyer for the North Carolina Baptist Foundation. He was an Eagle Scout and served his country in the U.S. Army Reserve.

A lifelong Wolfpacker, Tom first met Boyd when he was a student at N.C. State, and she at Meredith College. The story told about their introduction is that Boyd put a visitor's card in the offering plate at West Raleigh Presbyterian Church after visiting one Sunday with a roommate, and Tom, the son of the church pastor, went through the offering plates and dug it out. The two went out for ice cream but were not solidified as a pair until a few months later, when Boyd needed 500 chicken feathers for a Meredith class competition. Never one to be deterred, Tom traveled to an area chicken farm and found them for her.

Other Wolfpack fans may know Tom for one of his doings: The crowd sound meter that for many years hung from the ceiling at Reynolds Coliseum. A box with some 15 lights that would turn on as the fan cheers grew louder, the meter got its start in Tom's basement, where he built it with a friend. (Another little-known fact: The lights were not actually triggered by crowd decibel levels, but by a third friend who sat in the rafters and lit them up as he saw fit.)

Tom was known for having two speeds, "on" and "off," and while he loved nothing more than a good nap on the porch, throughout life he was decidedly more "on" – spending his recent years doing nothing less than church mission trips to New Orleans, New Jersey, Honduras, Cuba, Belize and Peru to assist with hurricane recovery and building projects; Kiwanis initiatives including campaigns to eliminate not only tetanus but spinal bifida and iodine deficiency; and countless service projects such as working at the thrift shop for North Raleigh Ministries or taking the night shift at the Wake Hospitality Services shelter.

He and Boyd were always off to their next travel adventure, be it a 41st anniversary "honeymoon trip" this past year to New Zealand, frequent family trips abroad and stateside with his beloved daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren, or a year-long, 7,500-mile boat journey with Boyd and numerous family members and friends around the "Great Loop" – up the coast of the Carolinas to New York, through the Saint Lawrence Seaway across Canada, then down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. Along with Boyd, he made it a point to stay close to his siblings, nieces and nephews, be it traveling to family homes in the mountains of Montreat, the shores of Lake Gaston, or the beaches of Emerald Isle, where Tom would often be found spending "vacation" time raking leaves or staking storm fence.

In recent years Tom especially delighted in his newfound role as "Granddaddy" -- measured out in pride and joy through trips to the park, babysitting nights, Girl Scout cookie sales, and piggyback rides. In addition to Annalise, Micah and Vivian, Tom was expecting two new granddaughters to be born this spring, and a sixth grandchild to be adopted in coming months from Lesotho. To celebrate the New Year, Tom took the entire family to Washington, D.C., for five days, taking special pleasure in getting to upgrade his rental vehicle from "family van" to "mini-bus."

Tom's gift to his grandchildren and to us all was his overwhelming generosity, unflagging support, and unfailing confidence that we can and will all rise to our best selves and make a difference in this world. He assumed the best of all people and situations -- and he had an uncanny knack and humor that convinced us to see the best, too.

In honor of Tom's memory, contributions may be made to the Tom Dimmock Missions Scholarship at Trinity Baptist Church.
Published in The News & Observer on Jan. 24, 2015.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
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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50 entries
February 5, 2015
Darlene & I have many fond memories of times and experiences shared while Tom and I served on the Kiwanis International Board. We reflect, with fond memories, the time we shared on a trip to China with Tom and his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Ed Fedun
February 3, 2015
It was a privilege to know Tom, a joy to be in his presence, and a blessing to call him “friend.” We consider ourselves supremely lucky to have spent time with Tom and the Dimmock family over the years. On a professional level, there is no one else that we would have wanted as our attorney. Tom and Ron shared many cases at the Wake County Courthouse, and Ron was always impressed with Tom's care for the families involved. The time they spent together as Kiwanians is a great source of pride, and going to the International Convention with the Dimmock family is a high point in our family history, especially the lap we all took on the Indianapolis 500 Speedway in the Campbell Family van. Also, few people may know that Tom's interest in education extended to making a film for NC State students in Ron's law classes, where he portrays a judge in a presentation designed to teach a point of law. And our family will always be grateful for the weekends we spent at Lake Gaston, as Tom and Boyd's gift for time together. We are keeping Boyd and all of the Dimmock Family in our thoughts and prayers and send our heartfelt condolences. -Ron, Paulette, Andy, & Erin Campbell
January 29, 2015
Boyd and family. So very sorry to hear of the loss of Tom. He will be sorely missed by many. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this time.
God Keep You.
Lib Perry
Lib Perry
January 29, 2015
Shocked and saddened about the loss of Tom. As a fellow Kiwanian and a former classmate of Tom's at NCSU he will be sorely missed. Our sympathies to all of Tom's family. Brad Rivers & Kiwanis Club of Lincoln County, NC
January 29, 2015
All were shocked by the sudden and untimely passing of everybody's friend, Tom.
He was an impressive, engaging persona; friendly, outgoing, articulate and a passionate advocate for good, much of which he demonstrated throught his love of Kiwanis projects and its members.
Tom continually showed balance in his life. I had learned that he was an active and excellent lawyer whicle maintaining his loving relationship with his family. He and his wonderful wife happily didnot wait for "some future day" for life to begin but lived it with their children and grand children and, notably, through their fulfilment of a "dream vacation" by boat on their personal craft.
I was blessed to have known him.
Charlie Bowie
Charlie Bowie
January 28, 2015
Dear Dimmock Family - I was shocked to learn of Tom's death. I am glad that I had the opportunity to meet Tom at Trinity Baptist Church and to get to know your family while I attended TBC. I moved back to Virginia seven years ago, but I will always remember Tom's smile during choir practice. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. - Carol Batts (Martinsville, VA)
January 28, 2015
Dywon and I are so sad for the loss of your dad. We love you and will be praying for you.
-Amanda Terry
January 28, 2015
What an absolute shock! Tom was one of my best friends in law school. In fact, my most vivid memory was when State played UCLA in the semi-final in '74. He went, and called me the next day, asking if I wanted his ticket for the final championship game. When I asked why he wasn't going, he quickly said "I've already seen the championship game on Saturday against UCLA." I quickly took him up on his offer! I stayed in touch intermittently throughout the years, usually when I would refer a case to him in Wake County. There are very few people I've ever known who were as kind as Tom, as good an attorney and as good a friend. I'll miss him, as I know Boyd and his family will. God bless all of you.
John Cutchin
January 27, 2015
Tom was one of the first lawyers to take a pro bono matter from me when I began my tenure as Coordinator of the Wake County Volunteer Lawyers Program. He was compassionate, insightful, dedicated, and most professional. He is a man who will be remembered for all the right reasons.
Celia Mansaray
January 27, 2015
As a fellow Wolfpacker and member of the Wake County Bar, I offer my sincerest condolences to the family. Tom was well respected as an alum and lawyer. Hopefully some form of the noise meter will always be around, which will serve to remind folks of Tom and his contributions
Charles Case
January 26, 2015
Dearest family,
I have known Tom since we were "baby-lawyers" in the late 70's. We have grown up in the practice of law ever since. Knowing MY loss is nothing compared to yours, I wanted you to know I am also grieving the wholly unexpected loss of a dear friend. Tom's friendship to, and encouragement of, me over the years are VERY special to me. I will have his ever-present smile and his "one-of-a-kind" laugh etched in my mind and heart as long as MY memory lasts. Please accept my deepest condolences. I wish there was something I could do to take away some of your sadness and pain. As it is, all I am really able to do is to SHARE your sadness and multiply the fondness of your memories with the addition of my own very dear ones. Tom was a servant and a friend to so many including me. I know he will be fondly remembered by SO MANY. May all of you find some solace in the love of friends and of all those thousands of others whose lives Tom touched without any of you ever knowing. I am convinced Tom will be one of those I will see in paradise. May God bless and keep you all.
Bill Lawton
William Lawton
January 26, 2015
I served on the Haven House board with Tom for over five years and he was always so passionate about helping the youth in our area. He always thought we could overcome any obstacle in our community and had good ideas on how to do it. We will definitely miss Tom's positivity and wonderful personality!
Barry Cooper
January 26, 2015
Boyd and family: I am sorry I am out of town but please accept my condolences. I will Always remember Tom for his infectious smile,quick wit, charitable nature and of course as my fellow chainsaw crazy mission worker. Tom was a unbelievably hard worker and a great example of a man who served his community and fellow man with enthusiasm and gusto. May you all find peace in Gods loving arms secure in the knowledge that Tom is with our Lord we will all be together again. Peace and love be with you
Ken Laugel
January 26, 2015
I sold Tom his first home many years ago. He made a memorable impression on me even then. He was a fine gentleman and a Christian servant to his community.

Sincere condolences to the family,
David M. Smoot
January 26, 2015
I had the pleasure of working with Tom through the Baptist State Convention and NC Baptist Foundation. Tom was such a generous, giving and brilliant man. My thoughts and prayers are certainly with Boyd, girls and family. I know you will miss him terribly.
Robert Simons
January 25, 2015
To the family of Tom:

We lost a great Wolfpacker. I'm sure the noise meter in heaven went to the top light! Our thoughts and prayers are with you
Ron Spivey "82
Superior Court Judge Retired
Former NC State Alumni Association President (1998)
Ron Spivey
January 25, 2015
My memories of Tom are Baptist State Convention related. . . brilliant, astute --- a man whose views were always heard and appreciated.
January 25, 2015
I met Tom watching NC Stste
Basketball. He sat behind me
For many years. I am shocked
To hear of his passing. We will
All miss his presents. My prayers go out to the family.
Ron and Adrienne Greger
January 25, 2015
Boyd and family, I was distressed to hear about Tom, and hope you can feel sustained and strengthened by the love that surrounds you and the power of God to hold you in loving arms during these difficult days. Blessings to you all!
Mary Stuart Alderman
January 25, 2015
Thinking of you in your sorrow and wishing you strength in the days
Ahead.
Our Love & Prayers
Judd & Betty Stephenson
January 25, 2015
My prayers are with the family at this time. He had an infectious spirit. I remember he was always in the choir loft when I got there on We. nights and his greeting me with a firm handshake and "Good Evening".

Mike Sherrer
Prov. 17:22
Mike Sherrer
January 25, 2015
Rhonda and Lyndia M Bailey
To the family of Thomas Johnston Dimmock, a sister to Gayle and Frank Havens,I didn't know Tom , as I read about his life, He was a good and busy man, loving God and being busy. Touched many many lives, and I am sure he will be missed and remembered.
I missed a very good friend by not meeting him I am sure.
You are with our Heavenly father walking the streets of Gold and more than that singing in the Heavenly choir, what a plan , that has been full filled by our "LORD"
I send prayers and blessings to the family.
IN HIS PRESENCE
LYNDIA McCORKLE BAILEY
Lyndia McCorkle -Bailey
January 24, 2015
Heartbroken to hear of Tom's passing. Remember him fondly from when he was our Kiwanis trustee. Was so excited to see him last fall in an ELIMINATE video. Much love to Boyd, the girls and their families, know his loss is being felt across this country...
K'Lynn Sloan Harris
January 24, 2015
Boyd and Family, We are so sorry to hear of Tom's going home. Knowing Tom is with his Lord and Savior is of great comfort! You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Lee and Pam Hyatt
January 24, 2015
Boyd, we are so sorry to hear about Tom's passing. You and Tom were the backbone of our "Couples without Children" Sunday School class back in 1974. Please know that you and your family are being remembered in our prayers. Tom and Gail Sawyer
Tom Sawyer
January 24, 2015
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Tom was just a fabulous man all around. It's been a great pleasure serving with him. I certainly learned a lot. He certainly was a great and positive influence for me. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. We will truly miss him.
Becky Horton
January 24, 2015
Well done good and faithful servant! Tom's legacy of laughter and service to others inspired all who knew him. God will provide strength for today and hope for tomorrow for those Tom leaves behind. Boyd Julianna and Laurie and the rest of the family, I pray for God's provision for you in your time of need. I am truly sorry for your loss.
January 24, 2015
Dear Tom's family,
My heartfelt condolences to you. I met Tom in the mid '90's early in my practice in Wake Co.Courts, he's one of the few lawyers that extended a very warm interaction to me as a new lawyer in the court room /house on the opposite side of one of the pro bono cases he was handling for a paralysed lady on a wheel chair, before I withdrew from the case. He remained friendly and helpful to me from then when ever I ran into him. His passing is a remarkable loss to the Wake Co. Bar in particular & to the NC State legal community in general! May his SOUL rest in PEACE. Our thoughts are with you the family.
John Eluwa
January 24, 2015
He served many with his work and with his smile. Made my daughter and I feel welcomed when we attended Kiwanis meetings.
May you his family feel the comfort and peace that is in Christ. Know that your family "the body of Christ" is praying for you.
J Loraine Smith
January 24, 2015
Boyd, I remember Tom best from choir. We left Trinity in 1996 when my husband changed jobs and we moved to Greenville. If heaven has a choir, and I hope it does, he will certainly have his place within it. May God comfort you and your family in this time of sorrow.
PJ Castles
January 24, 2015
Your in our thoughts and prayer WV district governor
Sherry Charles
January 24, 2015
Mr. Dimmock was a great example of living a blessed life. A man who inspired all and touched many. To his family, May God give you peace in this difficult time.
Sincerely,
Jay Thomas
Formerly West Millbrook Middle
Currently Rolesville High School
Jay Thomas
January 24, 2015
The Lord has blessed us who knew Tom with many wonderful and sweet memories. The closer one was to Tom the greater the blessing. His spirit was of his Lord and Savior, and I am inspired by that. May you, his family and friends, share in the peace and comfort that Tom promulgated.
Victor Lynn
January 24, 2015
We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are continually with you and your family as you walk through this difficult time. May God wrap his arms around you and hold you close. Love and prayers,
Jeff, Carla, Matt, Sydney, & Nick Babb
January 24, 2015
Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Boyd, and your sweet family in the loss of Tom. What a joyful, happy person he always was. And he was such a blessing to my mom, myself, and my brothers. We will pray that God will strengthen all of you in the days to come.
Gary and Karen Honeycutt, Oxford, NC
Karen and Gary Honeycutt
January 24, 2015
Boyd and Family, on behalf of the Kiwanis Club of High Point, our board and members, we are honored to have known Tom and saddened to hear of Tom's passing. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Tom spoke to our Kiwanis Club of High Point over a year ago and was instrumental in encouraging our club to become a model club for the Eliminate Project. Tom was a compassionate and generous man and he demonstrated the true Kiwanian spirit of service to others. We will keep you lifted up in our thoughts and prayers. May God comfort you and your family as you remember and celebrate a life well lived.
In Loving Memory,

Kiwanis Club of High Point
January 24, 2015
Our condolences to you Boyd and your family. We are saddened by your loss. We were talking about Tom and all of the Sunday School parties, and playing softball, etc, and we couldn't remember a time when he appeared to have a bad day! He was always happy. We will keep you and your family in our prayers during this time.

God Bless!
Jerry and Cindy Ledford
January 24, 2015
We were so sorry to hear of Tom's passing. He was outstanding as a lawyer, husband, father, grandfather, Church member and as a follower of Jesus Christ. He blessed us at some critical times. May God comfort all of you. Harry and Jean Byrd
January 24, 2015
Boyd, was so shocked to hear of your loss of Tom. He was the most energetic Kiwanian I knew. He was the "Eliminate Project" in the Carolinas District. Cricket Harrell (Cary, NC)
January 24, 2015
I was shocked and saddened to hear of Tom's passing. My prayers are with your family. I could always count on his smile as he would greet me. He will be missed.
Jim Jennings
January 24, 2015
I am just stunned at the news of Tom's passing. I am a former Lt. Governor with Kiwanis and served with Tom. Boyd, you and your family are in my prayers. You will likely never know the actual measure of how Tom truly changed the world for the better.
David Whisenant
January 24, 2015
Tom lived life to the fullest and most of all lived it for others. His life should be an example to us all and may we all choose to pick up the banner and carry on with the good works that he began.

Boyd, to you and the family, please know you are in our prayers and may you feel God's loving arms wrapped around you in the coming day's. It can truly be said that Tom finished well.

Frank & Gayle Havens
Frank Havens
January 24, 2015
My sincere condolences to the family. May Almighty God provide you with the strength needed during this difficult time of your life. He will really help you. Draw close to him and he will draw close to you.
January 24, 2015
Dear Mrs. Dimmock and family,

Like everyone else who knew Tom we are stunned at his death. The life described in his obituary I should hope someone, some day, could write about all of us. Sadly, most of us are satisfied only in bumping along through life, day by day. Tom was certainly the exception. I hope only that his death will remind us -- and his life inspire us -- to serve others each day to the fullest. This is how Tom will be remembered. I count it my lucky day the two times I got to meet Tom personally at our club meetings and hear him talk passionately about the Eliminate Project.

Blessings on you.

Paul Alexander
Kiwanis Club of Hendersonville
January 23, 2015
Boyd and Family, Tom will surely be missed by our family and all the countless that have had the extreme pleasure of meeting as well as getting to know him at any level. Knowing him personally and learning of his many ways of service have made want to do more while realizing that I could never equal him in that area. Thanks Tom Dimmock for all that you have done and for touching my life at Trinity Baptist Church. We are all better people because of the effect you have had on our lives. Dimmocks, let us know of anything we can be of help to you with.
Cliff Harper
January 23, 2015
Kiwanis International is in deep shock over Tom's passing from our earthly sight to his eternal life. His advocacy for newborn babies and their mothers was unsurpassed and we will honor him by continuing his efforts to ELIMINATE Maternal and Newborn Tetanus from the face of this earth. Our faith is sustained by how he performed God's work on earth, and our prayers are with Boyd and his family. Tom DeJulio, Past President, Kiwanis International
Thomas DeJulio
January 23, 2015
Boyd and Family, we were saddened and socked to hear of Tom's passing. You all are in our thoughts and prayers. Tom was a great man and friend to all who knew him. Ray was honored to sever as one of his Lt Governor's when he was Governor of the Carolina's District. Tom loved Kiwanis and was dedicated in all that he did. May God comfort you and your family.

In Christ,

Ray and Mickey Riley (Div. 22 - Clinton, SC)
Ray Riley
January 23, 2015
I was a friendly acquaintance of Tom's at Broughton High School, heard about his sudden passing and came online to read his obituary. Seems unreal to me; I cannot imagine your shock and sorrow. Just finished looking at all the photos and seems that Tom is having the time of his life in every one of them. Looks like everything was a joy to him. Surely he's left you with many happy memories of good times. Count on those happy memories to get you through the rough days. I send my sympathy and condolences.

A Broughton classmate
January 23, 2015
I was at a loss all day Wednesday upon hearing the news about Tom. Our families have been intertwined for as long as I can remember through Trinity and mom working for Tom for so many years. My heart is broken for you, his family and for us, his friends. I fear it will take awhile for this shock to subside. We have known the Dimmocks for 30 years. It will be hard to watch the choir without seeing Tom's smiling face. He was the truest definition of joy. His presence filled a room. His life was one of love, service and dedication to others. I imagine the first thing he heard upon entering heaven was "Well done my good and faithful servant." Even with all of the sadness and grief this I know for sure, God is good all of the time and His love never fails. I love you all and my prayers are with you.
Allison & Brad Harris
January 23, 2015
Boyd and Family.....Bill and I were shocked by the news of Tom's passing....I have many fond memories of my youth with you and Tom and will always treasure his kindness and generosity. His smile could light up a room and I enjoyed singing with him in the choir....The memories I have of Tom will forever live on in my heart....He was a very special man will not be forgotten. May you find peace in the days to come with all of the wonderful memories the two of you were able to share.

Jane "Dean" and Bill Tracy, Grayslake, IL
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