Thomas B. Kromer 

Published 11:05 pm Thursday, September 19, 2019

Columbus, NC–Thomas B. Komer was a celebration and tribute to the beauty life can offer. He was born as an only child in New York City on March 31, 1942 to a blind mother, Armead Komer (née Raidart). His father, Albert Komer, died when Tom was just 10 years old, marking the start of a long life of self reliance and passionate caring. He married Virginia M. Howlett on 13 February 1960. He raised his family in Los Angeles before moving to a Christmas Tree Farm in Northern California and then to North Carolina in retirement. He graduated with a degree in Mathematics and held a fulfilling job as an IT Consultant.


He was a great mentor for many he met. He was always a person his friends looked up to, spiritually and intellectually. He was no nonsense and called it like he saw it. He was always honest, often brutally honest. Quick with corrections, slow to praise, but always gave credit where due. He wanted to help people grow and become their best selves. He cared deeply for everyone he met, and showed it by his actions.

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A self proclaimed hermit, he preferred to be anonymous and would disdain this obituary and any other effort to bring his memory attention. He was a crusty tough guy who presented a curmudgeon facade but it failed to hide his tender heart, his truly caring and passionate soul. He would try to hide his smile but it showed in his eyes.


Tom had a big heart and loved to help others. He was very generous with his time and resources, even in the aid of total strangers. In retirement, he found inspiration as a Flying Angel, providing air travel to sick people seeking treatment far from their homes. He worked with South Wings providing aerial conservation observation. His selfless volunteering won him awards, which of course, he told nobody about. He devoted endless time to his church and lived by what he believed. He always kept God with him.


As a passionate man with high integrity, his most important life work was taking care of his wife. Devotion to his wife and God kept him going through arduous cancer treatments. His valiant effort to both heal and provide for his wife was deeply respected by those around him. 


Of all things, Tom will most be remembered as a close and beloved friend. He was good with his quick wit and kept his friends laughing. He was a dear friend to many and many for a lifetime. His many communities of friends mourn his passing but celebrate his life.


Tom made the most of life and lived with great spirit. He loved flying, loved travelling, and loved life. He leaves with us his spirited tomes of travelogues eagerly received by friends and family where his voice will endure time. He was an adventurer, historian, and storyteller. He loved sharing the nuances he learned during his travels and endless searching for the perfect pint. As a connoisseur of beer and stubborn sufferer of camera-phobia, there is rarely a picture without him holding a pint. 


Tom leaves behind three children, a wife, an adorable ball of fluff named Molly, and a plethora of friends. He will be truly missed by all. He said he failed in his fight with cancer, but it is clear he succeeded in making the most of life and making lasting impacts along the way.  The world is smaller without him. Thank you for being our dad.


There will be mass held at St. Baptist Catholic Church 9/20/2019 at 12:00 followed by a reception at Tryon Estates.


                 An online guest register is available at   

                 McFarland Funeral Chapel & Crematory 

                 Tryon, North Carolina