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.