Dr. Thomas Edison Leary, Sr.

October 9, 1931 - January 21, 2019

10/09/1931 - 01/21/2019

Past Services

Friday January 25, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service of Ahoskie
205 NC Highway 42 W
Ahoskie, NC 27910
252-332-3122 | Directions
Saturday January 26, 2019
11:00 am
First Baptist Church of Ahoskie
312 Main Street West
Ahoskie, NC 27910

AHOSKIE, NC – Dr. Thomas Edison Leary, Sr., age 87, passed away on Monday, January 21, 2019 at the Accordius Health at Creekside Care of Ahoskie, NC.

Dr. Leary was born in Ahoskie, NC, on October 9, 1931, a son of the late James Stanley and Edna Earl Sewell Leary.  Thomas was a 1949 graduate of Ahoskie High School.  He then attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he graduated with a BA degree in Chemistry-PreDental.  After graduation, he taught science and coached at Mars Hill High School at Trap for a year, before returning to UNC School of Dentistry and graduating with a Doctorate in Dentistry.  Thomas returned to Ahoskie to begin his career and practiced for fifty years and nine months in Ahoskie.

In addition to his practice, Dr. Leary was very active in the Dental Organizations, being a member of the ADA Dental Society, the Fifth District Dental Society, the Academy of General Dentistry, the Eastern Prosthetic Study Club and the Academy of Children’s Dentistry.  He was also a member of the Pierre Fauchard Academy, was a Fellow of the American College of Dentistry, a member of the NC Alumni Board,  a life member of the NC Dental Society, and was listed in the America’s Top Dentists Book.  Thomas also served on the Courtesy Staff of Roanoke Chowan Hospital.

Besides his professional life, Thomas was also very active in the community and civic organizations.  He had served as President of the Ahoskie Jaycees and the Ahoskie Lion’s Club and served on the board of the Gallery Theatre.  He was a member of Woodmen Life Chapter 328 in Ahoskie, where he had served as President and Vice President, President of the Roanoke Chowan District Association of WOW, and served as delegate to the district and state meetings for several years.

Thomas was the first boy in Ahoskie to earn his Eagle Scout with Bronze Palm.  He was holder of Green Band and Compass District Scout Award, and holder of the Silver Beaver Award from Eastern Carolina Council of BSA.  He served as district chairman of Eastern Carolina Boy Scouts, and was on the executive board of East Carolina.  Thomas was a century member of Boy Scouts of America and had received the Governor’s Volunteer Award.  He also served as a Cub Scout Leader.

Dr. Leary was a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Ahoskie, where he had served as a Sunday school teacher, sang in the choir, and served on the nominating committee.

He was a true lover of the outdoors and camping.  He enjoyed traveling and going camping with his camping chapter, the Roanoke Chowan Indians, for which he served as President for several years.

Besides his parents, Thomas was preceded in death by his brothers, James Stanley Leary, Jr., and Stephen Sewell Leary, and his sisters, Edna Earl Leary Newsome, and Fannie Marie Leary.

Left to cherish his memory is his loving wife,  Joyce Ferguson Leary; two sons, Thomas E. Leary, Jr. of Dallas, TX, and Jeffrey Steve Leary and wife, Suzan of Columbia, SC; two brothers, William E. Leary and wife, Bess of Ahoskie, NC, and Rev. David O. Leary and wife, Bonita of Morganton, NC; two grandchildren, Lindsey Leary Miller and husband, Bryan of Winston Salem, NC, and Joshua Wesley Leary, of Columbia, SC; three great grandsons, Drew Miller, Landon Miller, and  Josiah Miller, all of Winston Salem, NC; and several nieces and nephews.   Thomas Leary touched many lives, both professionally and personally and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

The family will receive friends on Friday, January 25, 2019, from 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm at Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service, Ahoskie, NC, and other times at the home.
A celebration of life memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2019, at 11:00 am at the First Baptist Church of Ahoskie with the Rev. Dr. Trey Gilliam, officiating.  A private burial will be in Ahoskie Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made directly to First Baptist Church of Ahoskie, P.O. Box 649, Ahoskie, NC, 27910; or you may donate online by clicking here

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service – Ahoskie Chapel is handling the arrangements for the Leary family and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting www.garrettsykesfs.com.

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Pastor Doug VanNiel, St. John Baptist Church
4 years ago

Prayers for the family at this time of loss. May the hope and comfort of the Gospel of Jesus Christ be a source of peace and strength to the family.

Carolyn Jernigan Martin
4 years ago

Joyce, I am so sorry for your loss. I just learned of this; otherwise, I would have been at the service. I have very fond memories of Dr. Leary. Love and prayers to you and your family. Carolyn Martin

Yvonne Jenkins
4 years ago

I’m very sorry about the loss of your loved one. Remember the Bible’s promise at Revelation 21: 3, 4. May Jehovah comfort you during this difficult time.

Ann Banks Hines
4 years ago

Dearest Joyce:
Dr. Leary was my dentist all the years that i lived in Ahoskie. It was always so pleasant to visit you both in the office. I’ve thought of you often and prayed you were injoying your retirement years together. Now I want you to know that you are still in my prayers as you go on without him.
William and bess’s daughter Catherine introduced me to her family in church in Greenville just yesterday. I live in Greenville now, and we all attend 1st FWB together. I pray all our lives will continue to connect in the future. I did not know of
Dr. Leary’s death when we talked. May you feel God’s Blessings as you read this!
Ann Banks Hines

Wendy Overton-Ervin
4 years ago

Mrs. Leary, Eddie and Jeff, I am sorry for your loss. Dr. Leary always made a trip to the dentist easier with his jokes and laughter. Mrs.Joyce has such a welcoming smile that greeted you when entering their office. The Leary Family is truly an Ahoskie icon! They will be missed.

Wendy Overton-Ervin
4 years ago

Mrs. Leary, Eddie and Jeff, I am so sorry for your loss. I have such fond memories of visiting Dr. Leary as my dentist while I was growing up in Ahoskie. He was always joking and made a visit to the dentist fun. Mrs.Joyce always had a smile that welcomed you into their dentist office also. The Leary Family is truly an iconic family in Ahoskie. Dr. Leary will be missed.

Gail & Sonny
4 years ago

Joyce, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Lee Martin
4 years ago

Jeff, Eddie, Mrs. Joyce & family,
Sorry to hear of your loss. I remember loading up the van & heading to see a movie on a few weekends & you’re still the only folks I know that had a pet monkey. God bless!

Maxine Anderson
4 years ago

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Glynn Ellen
4 years ago

Jeff and Family,

I pray that God will hold all of you in his arms as you and your family go through the loss of such an amazing father, husband, brother, friend, man. May you find joy in the wonderful memories that your fathers family, friends and loved ones share with you. Your father sounds like he was an amazing man. God bless all of you and your family. You are in my prayers. Love you! Glynn