Thomas Royster Williamson Sr.

June 1, 1934June 24, 2020

'Til My Trophies at Last I lay Down'

Thomas 'Tom' Royster Williamson, Sr., age 86, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the morning of June 24, 2020 from his home in Gastonia with his loving and dear family by his side.Tom was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina and graduated from Needham Broughton High School in 1952. He graduated from Atlantic Christian College in 1956. Tom earned and received a Bachelors Degree and two Masters Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and Biblical Studies. After serving several companies in sales and marketing,Tom's last position was at Bank Building Corporation as National Sales Manager (where he met his wife Tari in 1982). He was called to seminary to become a Marriage and Family Therapist. Tom and his wife Tari moved to Gastonia when Family Preservation brought him onboard in 1994 and upon retiring from Family Preservation at age 65, he went on staff with First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church as their counselor and director of family ministries, where he served until his death. Tom was the Christian Family Therapist at First ARP Church in Gastonia, North Carolina for 21 years. He loved everything and everyone, having a gift to minister to those who are and were hurting. He and his wife Tari worked side by side serving the Lord at First ARP Church. Tom served Honorably in the United States Army as a SP4 from 1954 through 1957. He will be greatly missed by his family, church family, friends and all of the people who he ministered to for many years.

Those left behind to cherish Tom's memories and carry on his beautiful legacy are his dedicated wife and partner in the ministry of 37 years, Tari Marie Williamson of the home; two daughters and son in law: Katherine Williamson of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Sara and John Hicks of Wilmington, North Carolina; two sons and daughter in law: Thomas 'Tom' Royster Williamson, Jr and wife Sophie of St. Louis, Missouri, Parks Williamson of Gastonia, North Carolina; nine precious grandchildren also survive.

Tom was the son of the late Tommie Russell Williamson and Frances Wynn Cox Williamson. He was also preceded in death by an infant son on April 22, 1959.

Tom will Lie-in-State from 11:00 AM Saturday ~ June 27, 2020 until 2:00 PM Sunday ~ June 28, 2020 in Stateroom I at Carothers Funeral Home, 2205 Williamsburg Drive, Gastonia, North Carolina.

The family will receive guests from 4:00PM ~ 6:00 PM on Sunday, June 28, 2020 in the Chapel at First ARP Church, 317 South Chester Street, Gastonia, North Carolina.

The Funeral will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday ~ June 29, 2020 at First ARP Church.

Ministering in Word and song are Matt Kuiken, Jeff Morrison, Lily Brown and Josh Hjemveck.

Pallbearers will be Robert Spencer, Bob Sytz, Bryan Greeson, Mikell Jarrett, John McGill and Michael Watson. Honorary pallbearers are Tim Schapp, Rex Dunlap and the staff of First ARP Church.

Tom will be laid to rest beside his infant son Steven in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia at a later date to be determined.

Expressions of love and fond memories may be made on Tom's guestbook at

Tom and his loving family are in the care of Carothers Funeral Home at Gaston Memorial Park.


  • Tari Marie Williamson, Wife
  • Katherine Williamson, Daughter
  • Sara Hicks, Daughter
  • John Hicks, Son in Law
  • Thomas 'Tom' Royster Williamson, Jr, Son
  • Sophie Williamson, Daughter in Law
  • Parks Wiliamson, Son
  • Tommie Russell Williamson, Father (deceased)
  • Frances Wynn Cox Williamson, Mother (deceased)
  • Infant Son, Son (deceased)
  • Tom is blessed with nine grandchildren as well.

  • Robert Spencer
  • Bob Sytz
  • Bryan Greeson
  • Mikell Jarrett
  • John McGill
  • Michael Watson
  • Tim Schapp, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Rex Dunlap, Honorary Pallbearer
  • The Staff of First ARP Church, Honorary Pallbearer



  • Receiving of Guests

    Sunday, June 28, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Monday, June 29, 2020

  • Graveside and Committal

    Thursday, March 4, 2021


  • Graveside and Committal Service with Military Honors Accorded by the United States Army


Thomas Royster Williamson Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Shirley Faulk

June 27, 2020

My love and sympathy to Tari who took such good care of my friend, Tom.

He and I graduated high school together. His classmates called him "Bebop" because he loved to dance. In my mind's eye, I can still see him dancing, laughing and telling tall tales -- always having fun. That's a memory I will cherish.

And what a wonderful person he grew up to be. God love him.

Shirley Merriman Faulk

Lenore Schottenstein

June 27, 2020

I send my sympathy and condolences to all of Tom’s beloved family.
I was part of the Class of 1952 at Needham Broughton High School
In Raleigh. Tari and Tom were valued supporters of our alumni gatherings and always lent their full hearted enthusiasm. Tom will be missed by his class and we believe his memory will be blessed always.
Lenore G. Schottenstein

Karen Grotefend

June 26, 2020

I was blessed to know Tom. He was a kind, sweet man who was loved by everyone who was lucky to know him. Tari, my niece, had many wonderful years of Marriage to this kind soul. I will miss our talks and hearing his southern accent calling Tari, Sugg; short for Sugar. It was very endearing.
He was a great, friend, counselor, husband, father, and Christian.
We will miss Tom but he will not be forgotten.

Randy Mayfield

June 25, 2020

My love and condolences to my dear friend Tari in the loss of her great love, Thomas R. May God give you his peace and comfort. I have so many wonderful memories of Tom. All of the couple's retreats, fun cruising, singing and eating in Charleston. His wonderful smile and chuckle... his great sense of humor... the way he always called Tari "Suggah!" I will miss this wonderful man of God! May you rest peacefully in the arms of Jesus, the one who loves you most! Your friend, Randy

Marla Ivester

June 25, 2020

I was honored to be his nurse. He was an amazing individual for the short time I knew him. I am sure he helped many people. Will be praying for his sweet wife and family during this time.

Betty Martin

June 25, 2020

Tom was one of the kindest, most loving and understanding people I have ever known. He and his precious wife Tari made a great team. The world seems like a less kind place with Tom not in it. We will miss him so much but Praise God we can look forward to the day when we will see him again.
Betty and Bill Martin