Thomas Willoughby

Rev. Thomas “Tom” Willoughby Sr., 70, of Marion, went home to his heavenly reward Tuesday, July 20, 2021, after a life well lived.

A celebration of Tom’s life is at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 31, 2021, at Zion Hill Baptist Church, 1036 Zion Hill Road, Marion, with Dr. Tom Walker and Rev. Alex Willoughby officiating. The family will receive friends following the service.

Tom was born March 5, 1951 in Bladen County, NC to Mildred Johns Willoughby of Lumberton, NC and to the late Alex C. Willoughby, Sr. He joined the Army at the age of 17 and received a Purple Heart in battle. On December 18, 1970 he married the love of his life, Patricia Strickland Willoughby and recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. He devoted his life to God and faithfully served as a Minister for over 20 years, until he retired from ministry.

In addition to his mother, those left behind to cherish Tom’s memory are his loving wife; 3 children, Lori and Johnny Holbrook of Sapphire, NC, Thomas Willoughby Jr. of Newport, NC and Tonya and Chad Mease of Marion, NC; as well as his god daughter, Cori and Levi Schultz of Morehead City, NC. He was also a wonderful Papa to his seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He is survived by two brothers and six sisters as well as countless nieces and nephews. 

Tom’s family would like to extend their gratitude to the amazing staff in the MICU at Charles George VA Medical Center, Asheville, NC for all the love and care they showed Tom during his recent illness.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a donation in Tom’s memory are asked to consider the Sheep Dog Impact Assistance WNC, 271A Old Barn Road, Hendersonville, NC 28791.

Westmoreland Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at

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