Thomas Sylvanus Rhyne
Thomas Sylvanus Rhyne
  • March 23, 1927 - January 11, 2018
  • Raleigh, North Carolina

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Thomas S. Rhyne Jr. was born in Charlotte, NC on March 23, 1927 to Thomas Sylvanus Rhyne, Sr. and Marie Kendall Rhyne. He was married to Helen McCall Rhyne for almost 68 years. Tom passed away January 11, 2018. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and friend.

He was an Eagle Scout and Boy Scout Troop Leader for 15 years. He was a graduate of NCSU School of Forestry, and upon graduation hiked a section of the Appalachian Trail. He also served in the Marine Corps during WWII. He retired from the NC Forest Service after a 40 year career where he maintained many close friendships. Tom was an aviation pilot and began the aviation division for the Forest Service where the pilots proudly called themselves "Junior Birdmen". He designed the uniform patch still worn by NC Foresters today. In 1983, he was awarded The Executive Cabinet Award for Excellence in Management and Supervision by Gov. James B. Hunt for his exemplary service.

A Naturalist who loved the outdoors, he instilled this passion in his family members through camping, hiking and exploring nature with field guides, magnifying glasses and binoculars. He and other friends began a Christmas tree farm in western NC and grew Frasier Firs for over 40 years, supplying trees to local vendors in the Raleigh area.

He had an artistic nature and loved to draw, delighting his family with his creations. He loved his workshop and spent a great deal of time there, where he never wasted a piece of wood, screw or nail, and kept them at hand with a retrieval system known only to him. This collection grew over the years because he always had a project underway - birdhouses, tree houses, lawnmowers for repair, and many home projects.

He loved warm weather and always kept a garden where he grew tomatoes and believed that those bought in the grocery stores were a waste of good money.

Always active in the church, he happily served on numerous committees until a few short months ago.

He possessed a positive outlook and was cheerful, intelligent and kind, and easily befriended those whose paths were fortunate enough to cross his own. Tom's impact on his family, friends and community is immeasurable and the warmth of his spirit will be remembered always.

In addition to his wife, Helen, he is survived by children, Thomas Sylvanus Rhyne III (Sharon) and Ann Rhyne DiSanto (Rocco); grandchildren: Stacy Rhyne Smith (Brooks), Rocco Michael DiSanto, Denel Rhyne Cooper (Mack); 4 great grandchildren; nephew, Lt. Col. Eddie Cook (Jennifer) and Edward; and many other cousins, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held 10:00 am Monday, January 22nd at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. The family will receive friends at the church after the service.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to any of the following: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2723 Clark Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27607; Transitions LifeCare Hospice Home, 250 Hospice Cr, Raleigh, NC 27607; or North Carolina Wildlife Federation, Osprey Nesting Programs, 1024 Washington St., Raleigh, NC 27605.

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