We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Ashelawn Memorial Chapel & Gardens
Thomas Gale Stidhams, age 62, passed away on December 10, 2021 at his home. Tom was preceded in death by his grandparents: Lee & Sarah Stidhams, his brother: Darren Bell, his babydoll: Susan Patterson, his father: Gaither Stidhams, and the mother of his children: Teresa Stidhams.
Tom is survived by his mother, Jean Bell of Crocker, Missouri; his daughter, Sheila Miller and partner Bat Hilliard of Jefferson and his daughter, Brandy Baldwin and son-in-law, Shane Baldwin of Jefferson; six grandchildren, Michael Baldwin, Joshua Baldwin, William Baldwin, Blake Hurley, Dylan Baldwin, and Makayla Miller; his brother, Douglas Bell of Missouri; sister-in-law, Kimmy Bell; nieces/nephews, Braden Bell, Rhyse Bell, and Gabriel McGeshick; aunt, Lorraine Hurley; two special cousins, Greg Hurley and Joseph Hurley. Tom is also survived by his branch brothers, Dale and Vaughn McNeil and special friends, Bobbie George, James Williams, and Paul Davis, and numerous jailors, officers, and firemen who he served side by side with over the years.
Tom was the first Stidhams to obtain a high school diploma which was awarded to him at Beaver Creek High School. In the past, Tom served as a volunteer fireman with West Jefferson and Jefferson Fire Departments. Tom retired from the Ashe County Sheriff's office as a Detention Officer.
Those of us who are still on Earth smile at the thought of Tom's eyes closing on this planet and a moment later opening in Heaven. Tom is over-flowing with joy and has reunited with Susan, who he has mourned over daily since she passed on. Tom talked and smiled at the thought of Susan exploring the new plants she would find in Heaven and now Tom has joined her to explore. The family is eager for the day that they may walk alongside Tom and his grandpa, Lee, who he is walking alongside with again. Tom and Lee held a special bond and saw each other almost every single day that they were both on this planet, and there is joy in our hearts to realize that they'll never have to spend a day apart again. Sheila and Brandy are also positive that Tom has found Terri and is talking to her at length about how proud they are of their daughters whom they both loved with a passion that few would understand. Tom is also updating Terri at length about their six beautiful grandchildren that she never got to hold while she was on Earth. Those who knew Tom best smile at the thought of Tom testing out the fishing holes alongside the crystal sea.
Tom was also overjoyed to share with others the things he loved. Tom above all loved his daughters and told all he knew how proud he was of them and would gladly protect them with his life. Tom was a loyal friend and successfully held lifelong friendships which is a feat that few can achieve. Over the course of his life, Tom was a talented baseball pitcher, studied Kung Fu, rode horses, and explored the woods on his ATV. Tom loved to fish and spent many hours in creeks and riverbanks. Tom always said that the worst day he spent fishing was better than the best day he spent at work. Tom loved to shoot his rifles and was a very talented marksman. If anyone ever asked Tom to help sight in a rifle he was always pleased to do so because he loved the science behind it so much. Tom's daughters learned their work ethic, how to drive, how to respect weapons, how to shoot, and how to fish from their daddy. Tom also taught his daughters to learn a trade, protect their children, respect others, and to work hard for all they had. These are skills that we will carry with us for the rest of our lives and think of dad when we pass them on to our children and continue his legacy.
There will be a private service held for Tom. The family respectfully requests no flowers, but memorial gifts will be accepted for the family and can be given to the staff at Ashelawn Memorial Chapel.