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Memories & Candles

“Thomas was a great, and close friend to my husband and I in DC. He was so thoughtful and always looking out for us and introducing us to the good...Read More »
1 of 5 | Posted by: Jade & Aaron Treadwell - FL

“I worked with Thomas at Washington Sports Club at 1211 Connecticut Ave. I always looked forward to seeing Thomas' warm smile, hearing his deep,...Read More »
2 of 5 | Posted by: Heather Tierney - Annapolis, MD

“It was a shock when I heard of Thomas' passing. He was one of my brothers best friends growing up. Always at our house. He was one of the nicest...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: Eric Hanson - Charlotte, NC

“We were so saddened to hear of Thomas's passing. He was such a great friend to our son Chris who passed away in 2009. We were always grateful that he...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: Lucy Riley - Jacksonville, FL

“I am so saddened to hear the news of Thomas's passing. He was such an amazing man that made everyone he came in contact with smile. He was ONE OF A...Read More »
5 of 5 | Posted by: Gabriele Wooten - Washington, DC

Thomas Chea Teah Bestman, Jr. was born on December 6, 1985 in Monrovia, Liberia, from which he and his family fled when he was only four following the beginning of the Civil War. The Bestman family relocated to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia temporarily, where Thomas ' father, Thomas, Sr., was on assignment as Liberia's Ambassador to East Africa. They eventually settled in the United States in Maryland where Thomas grew up and was confirmed into the Episcopal Church during his formative years - becoming a member of and serving as an Acolyte at Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Gaithersburg.

Following his graduation from Watkins Mill High School in 2004, in addition to enrolling at Montgomery College in Germantown, Maryland, Thomas began working in the hospitality and health and fitness fields. As a people-person, he relished in being a part of these two areas because they allowed him to engage and interact with individuals from all walks of life. He continued to be very active within the Episcopal Church, a virtue that had been fostered and encouraged by his mother, Olivia. Even though Thomas was content personally and professionally, he sought more out of the opportunities that were before him, ones that would combine his passion for people and sports. Washington, DC provided the perfect mixture for all the things he cared about, and with the city being so close in proximity to his family and old friends Thomas became a resident there in 2010.

While living in DC Thomas ' network of friends and colleagues grew and his interests diversified. He landed a position as a Concierge at one of the city's premiere properties and he worked part-time as a Personal Fitness Trainer. Both roles were flexible, enabling Thomas to partake in a variety of recreational events. He was a mainstay at Georgetown ' s men 's basketball and Washington Wizards games. On any given Sunday during the fall months he could be found front and center at Redskins games, despite his long-held adoration for the Dallas Cowboys. He definitely was not rooting for the Skins. Rather, he was drawn to the atmosphere in the stadium, the energy of the crowd and just the overall psychology of sports, in that they are among the very few things in life that bring and hold communities together. As a fan, he was part of that community and it was a part of him. In 2012, Thomas fulfilled one of his lifelong dreams when he served as an Assistant Basketball Coach at Bishop Denis J. O' Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia. It was a wonderful, self-assuring experience for him, motivating his return to college to pursue an Associate's Degree in Sports Management.

In his 30th decade Thomas remained true to those who loved him most, turning to his faith as a source of inspiration. He never forgot birthdays, the words " please" and " thank you" were etched in his vocabulary and he prided himself on being supportive to loved ones in their darkest and brightest hours. As an Episcopalian Thomas was very forgiving, which afforded him great freedom to welcome all those he encountered throughout his earthly journey into his pure heart unconditionally. A consummate gentleman, to have known Thomas was to have loved Thomas. He was simply a wonderful human being finding his way in the world, relying on innate advantages that only made his daily experiences worthwhile. It was his mother and grandfather, Matthew, Sr. who first noticed Thomas' affection toward others. He was wise beyond his years; he was charming, respectful, kind, observant, pleasant, polite and unassuming, all of which made for an amazing son, a phenomenal brother, a brilliant friend and an enjoyable colleague.

Thomas is now resting with his Heavenly Father, who knew and loved him first. His mother and grandfather, each of whom gave him his faith and work ethic, have undoubtedly welcomed him home. For those of us who are left to cherish the beautiful memories of Thomas, including his father and siblings Edith, Wannie, Terence, Chea, Sewon, Wolo and a host of other relatives and devoted friends, we are immensely grateful to have been chosen to walk alongside him, even if it was for brief period. We take comfort in knowing that he was loved and admired by so many. The meaning of July 26 is now two-fold within the hearts of the Bestman and Tweh families. It not only marks our native land's revered independence, but also the culmination of our beloved Thomas' life, mission and purpose. We will miss him dearly but we know he is in a better place.

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