Thomas "Tom" Calvin McGalliard
January 29, 1944 - July 29, 2021
Thomas "Tom" Calvin McGalliard, 77 of Knoxville, Tenn., passed away Thursday, July 29, 2021, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, surrounded by his family and pastor, after a courageous battle with leukemia.
Born Jan. 29, 1944, he was the only child of Thomas and Velda McGalliard. He grew up in Longview where he played sandlot baseball games, worked in the family garden, and ran a paper route on a bike with a legendarily large basket on the front. He stayed up late listening to WMCM radio while Red Barber and Vin Scully announced Brooklyn Dodger baseball games, which began his passion for all things Dodger blue.
After graduating from Hickory High School in 1962, Tom attended Lenoir-Rhyne College where he met the love of his life, Nancy Kay Newton. He graduated with an economics degree in 1966 and began working for Proctor & Gamble. Tom and Nancy began their 57-year journey as husband and wife, Aug. 9, 1964, with a ceremony at Holy Trinity Church in Hickory. Together they have danced to every Carolina beach music song.
Tom switched careers in 1970. He joined the financial sector, first with Shenandoah Life Insurance from 1970 to 1986, and then as his own boss with TCM Associates for the last 35 years. During this time, he established himself as one of Knoxville's most respected small business owners and financial planners. He was a true advocate for his clients who often became friends.
In addition to his wife, Tom loved many things: their kids and families; the Dodgers; three pets across the rainbow bridge, rescue dogs, Casey and Maggie; and Butch the cat; cooking, hiking, reading, traveling, gardening, and golf; birdwatching in the backyard; and in the last few years woodworking in a basement carpentry shop of his own design. He enjoyed coaching and watching his kids play sports, dance, and cheer throughout their childhoods. And over the last 10 years, nothing made him happier than watching his grandson play youth, travel, and eventually high school baseball.
He delighted in gathering family and friends at Sunset Beach for a week of porch sitting, Calabash seafood, fishing off the pier with his grandson, and walks to either end of the barrier island, where he would find the occasional sand dollar or keyhole. He and Nancy have made many treks to coastal Maine, upstate New York, and Maryland to visit the families of their son and daughter.
Tom believed in the power of fellowship and community. He became a member of St. John's Lutheran Church in 1973. Over the last 48 years, he volunteered his time on councils and committees; youth groups and Wednesday night dinners for what became an extended family in this downtown Knoxville home away from home.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Nancy; their two children and families, Tad (son), Sharon (daughter-in-law), and Thomas McGalliard (grandson); Anna (daughter) and John Zavodny (son-in- law); and a host of cousins and friends.
A celebration of life will be held at a future date due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In lieu of flowers, friends and family are invited to donate to St. John's Lutheran Church at sjlcknox.org
or to The Leukemia And Lymphoma Society
Published by Hickory Daily Record on Aug. 2, 2021.