Cover photo for Tom Rusk Vickery, Jr.'s Obituary
Tom Rusk Vickery, Jr. Profile Photo

Tom Rusk Vickery, Jr.

December 14, 1935 — December 30, 2023

Ponte Vedra Beach

Tom Rusk Vickery, Jr.

Tom Rusk Vickery, Jr, 88, died on December 30th, 2023. He was born in Dallas, Texas to Tom Rusk Vickery and Lillian Estelle Smith and grew up in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Tom was an educator for his entire career. After graduating from Baylor University, Tom taught high school in Wichita Falls, Texas. During these early teaching years, Tom also received a masters of education from North Texas State University, and a master of divinity from Southwestern Theological Seminar. Always in pursuit of education, Tom moved to Gainesville Florida to complete a PhD in Education from the University of Florida. Several years later, he moved to Evanston, Illinois to teach at Northwestern University for several years before moving to Syracuse, New York to teach at Syracuse University. After 25 years at Syracuse University, Tom moved to Jacksonville where he served on the faculty at Jacksonville University.

Tom was very active at Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He was a Stephen Minister, co-mentored an Education for Ministry course, served as an usher at the church for many years, and was very involved with the Christ Church Cares program. For the last ten years, Tom attended St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Jacksonville. He loved both these wonderful churches.

Tom was passionate about a number of hobbies, including cooking and preparing feasts for family and friends. He also was zealous about his love of classical music and thoroughly enjoyed attending concerts at the Jacksonville Symphony. While it had been years since playing, Tom was a tuba player and always listened for the tuba part in a Symphony. In his spare time, Tom enjoyed wood crafting in his workshop. During the summers, Tom enjoyed spending time with his wife at their beloved cabin on Lake Champlain in Vermont.

Tom lived the last six years of his life with cognitive decline which lead to dementia and he was graceful and peaceful throughout this challenging journey. He maintained a positive attitude and lovely sense of humor during this difficult time. What a gift of grace he was for all of us.

Tom is survived by his loving wife, Sarah Elizabeth (Liz) McAlhany, and his sisters-in-law, Nancy McAlhany and Marianne McAlhany Murray (Jim), and his nephews, Cody (KC), Andrew (Tessa) and niece Claire (Mychal).

A Memorial Service for Tom will be held on a future date at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, 265 East Church Street, Jacksonville, Florida. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral or to a charity of one’s choice.

 

 

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