Apex Funeral Home

550 W Williams St, Apex, NC


Thomas Michael Settle

July 17, 1967November 30, 2019

Thomas Michael Settle, 52, formerly of St. Albans, West Virginia, passed away on November 30, 2019.

Tom was born on July 17, 1967 in Charleston, West Virginia to Richard Settle and Mary Settle.

He earned his electrical engineering degree from Rochester Institute of Technology before beginning his career as a network engineer. He had a love of robotics starting in college and continuing once he had children. He was passionate about teaching robotics to youth. In later years he also picked up an interest in poker and analyzing the math behind the game.

He is preceded in death by his mom, Mary Settle.

Tom is survived by his wife, Rebecca Settle; daughters, Michaela and Alex Settle; son, T.J. Settle; father, Richard Settle; sisters, Denese Settle and Anissa Settle and brother, Aaron Settle.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, December 6, 2019 at 5:00 PM at Apex Funeral Home. Family will receive friends and guests following the service from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Memorial contributions may be made to FIRST NC.

Condolences to www.ApexFuneral.net


  • Funeral Service Friday, December 6, 2019
  • Visitation to Follow Friday, December 6, 2019


Thomas Michael Settle

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Kathy Heins

December 6, 2019

Tom was a great friend and father figure to many children besides his own. My daughters have happy memories of being in the robotics club with the Settles after their own dad died. Our heartfelt sympathy goes to Becky, Michaela, Alexandra, and TJ.

Kathy, Miranda, and Claire Heins

Deanna Welker

December 6, 2019

When I was working on starting the Gadget Girls robotics team, I had no clue what I was doing or getting myself into. Even though Tom was busy and the distance was great, he was willing and eager to help me get started. His support and passion for robotics was amazing and inspiring, and he was such a great help. The love and support of his whole family was incredible, and I wish them all the love and hugs I can send! I will miss my friend...his patience, his laugh, and his desire to bring kids to engineering and robotics, no matter their background. He will be remembered fondly...Deanna
(and Victoria) Welker ................#OMGRobots!


December 6, 2019

Tom coached both of my kids, although years apart, on robotics teams. In both cases, finding Tom’s team was unexpected and truly our great fortune.

With my oldest son’s middle school FLL team, my first impression of Coach Tom was, I admit, a little shocking. As parents, we showed up on competition day, eager to meet the team and see what this robotics thing was all about. I noticed other teams huddling about with plenty of mentors interacting with the kids, but to my surprise Kirk’s team seemed to be on their own, no coach or mentor in sight. Still, the kids were well prepared and organized, collaborating on their various activities amongst themselves and moving in and out of matches with purpose. Finally, after the competitions were over and the event was packing up, we finally met Coach! His team had run independently and successfully. We were extremely disappointed the following year to learn that robotics was no longer offered at the school.

Four years later, Karl my youngest, was eager to join a robotics team. We again bumped into Coach Tom and the “Pink Detectives”! Many evenings while the kids packed up gear and loaded cars, Tom and the other parents chatted. It was during these conversations that I really got to know Tom and see his passion for mentoring. It was inspiring and contagious. Tom explained his mentoring philosophy: to develop self-sufficient, analytical engineers. When technical issues occurred, the kids would work the problem and resolve the issues themselves, no reliance on the adults! Three years later, Karl started his own robotics team, completely student-led and wholly inspired by Coach Tom’s philosophy.

The news of Tom’s passing leaves me with great sadness, for myself and especially for his family. It is easy to see Tom’s passion for robotics and inspiring young kids to explore science has been a family life style. He will be sorely missed.

Jennifer Yeung

December 6, 2019

I’m very sorry for the loss. I got to know Tom when I first joined Cisco 15 years ago. I still remember when he formed a small group with us newbies to teach us new technologies and everything else we needed to get up to speed. He gave great advice and guidances to us all. I’m fortunate to have been one of them. Tom was very knowledgeable while easy to approach. He was funny and kind - still remember his laughs. I’m grateful to have met and worked with him. My deepest condolences.

Best Regards,
Jennifer Yeung

Kevin Mitchell

December 5, 2019

I only knew Tom for a short time and remotely as I am in the UK and we worked together at Arista Networks.

Tom was always a good-humoured, kind person to me and the team.

So sad to hear of your loss. Condolences to the family for the loss of their Dad, husband, son and brother.

Anuj Jain

December 5, 2019

Tom introduced robotics in my son Tushaar's life and was a big influence on him. It was unbelievable and difficult to hear the sad news about Tom. He was truly a great coach, an exceptional mentor, and yet patient with his students. Tom was generous with his time and shared his knowledge easily. My son Tushaar credits his interest in robotics and skills to Tom. We remember fondly our time with him.
Anuj Jain
Divya Jain
Tushaar Jain
Mrenaal Jain

David Blair

December 4, 2019

Tom was a great co-worker and friend. My job was as the CCIE Proctor in Cisco's RTP campus. The CCIE exam is an 8 hour soul stealing, ego crushing exam. Tom was a CCIE Proctor earlier in his career. When I met Tom, he shared his love for robotics and his family and mentioned he could provide coverage as a backup CCIE Proctor when I wanted take time off. Whenever Tom filled in for me I knew there would not be any problems to come home to. That made going on vacations a lot less stressful. I really appreciated Tom and his friendship. Tom will be greatly missed!!

Paul Bassett

December 4, 2019

I only worked with Tom for a year at Arista Networks. Tom was always so kind and generous to help. I was shocked to hear about such a loss. I did not know Tom really well but know by his approach with others that he was a guiding sole. Tom, you will be missed.

Ginny Pappaianou

December 3, 2019

The very first time I played tournament poker in July of this year, I sat between Tom and Jen. Tom and Jen were the first two people I met when joining this poker family.

After awhile, Tom noticed I wanted to move ahead in my poker playing and he started teaching me about odds, math, and to always be aware at the poker table. He asked me why I was playing poker and I told him it was to move onto play for cash.

We sat for hours one night before a game and he had me download poker cruncher and we talked about odds, different starting hands, combinations, and strategy.

His goal for me was to get out of my comfort zone, widen my range and play suited connectors. The night that I did, we played at the same table, he was the dealer and I was in the blind. I was dealt connectors, played them and won with them and Tom cheered for me at the table. This was one of the very best memories I have of Tom.

He was coaching me through my poker and I loved him the more I got to know him. The night he passed away, I hit a Royal Flush in Hearts in a cash game. I didn’t know that he had passed away yet but the next day when I heard the news, I felt that it was a sign from him to me that he was there. I dedicated that Royal Flush in Hearts to Tom. I considered him a dear friend who was smart and special and I loved him.

My prayers go out to all of his friends, family, and loved ones. I will miss him dearly and I thank him for all of his words of wisdom on and off the poker table.

Katharine Krovetz

December 3, 2019

Mr.Settle had a huge impact on many people, inspiring a love for science and robotics. I knew him not only as the father of a good friend, but as an extraordinary coach and mentor. I helped mentor Lego robotics teams through viaRobotics and it is probably one of the best experiences I had in high school and one of the most impactful in my life so far. I gained a lot of confidence through that mentoring program and a love for teaching that I still have today. The way he allowed the kids he coached to explore problems, make mistakes, and come up with their own solutions was one of the best ways to learn. He was always willing to help the high school robotics team that his daughter, Michaela, and I were on with such friendliness and unending patience. The Settle family are in my thoughts and prayers.