Thomas Ralph Sigmon

April 5, 2019

CHARLOTTE - The Rev. Dr. Thomas R. Sigmon, 80, of Charlotte, North Carolina, passed away on April 5, 2019 after a courageous battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis and Lung Cancer.

Tom was born in Newton, North Carolina to the late Ralph Manson Sigmon and the late Gladys Radar Sigmon on April 4, 1939.  He married LaVon McCurry Sigmon on September 4, 1960 in Hickory, North Carolina. He was a graduate of Fred T. Ford High School and also achieved a Bachelor of Arts from Lenoir Rhyne University, a Masters of Divinity from Duke University and a Doctor of Ministry from Drew University.

Tom retired from the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church in 2005 after 46 years of active ministry.  He continued his ministry after retirement serving as an interim minister for parishes in transition thru 2012. 

Throughout his ministry Tom served as a pastor of numerous United Methodist Churches throughout Western North Carolina, but primarily in the Charlotte area since 1972.  He served rural, small town, mountain, suburban and urban churches, with his last parish being Sharon United Methodist Church in SouthPark.  He also served as the Gastonia District Superintendent and finally as the Executive Program Director of Ministries for the Western North Carolina Conference.

During his ministry he frequently focused on ecumenical coalitions, assisting in the linkage of churches especially in local missions.  In the late 1960’s he was one of the key organizers of a multi-denominational Cooperative Christian Ministry in Hickory that continues to this day.  In the early 1970’s he was one of the organizers of the original Mecklenburg County Council on Aging.  Late in his career, he was also instrumental in partnering with the Duke Endowment to establish rural affordable housing ministries across Western North Carolina.

Tom believed that Christianity is not a “spectator sport”, but requires active witness based on justice, mercy, compassion and respect for all.  Though loyal to his denomination, he still believed very strongly that the name of one’s denomination was meant to be used as an adjective, not a noun.

He is best remembered as a people person.  He loved to travel, but it was not the landmarks, but the people that interested him the most.  He was a man of impact, but always unassuming and humble.  A positive impact was instinctive to him – so instinctive it seemed effortless, and often times he may not have even realized he had an impact until someone told him.  All who knew him have been blessed to have his example.

Tom is survived by his wife LaVon; their children Mary Beth Smart and her husband Mike of Gastonia and William Thomas Sigmon and his wife Elizabeth of Charlotte; his brothers Jerry Manson Sigmon and his wife Jean of Newton and Donald Eugene Sigmon and his wife Becky of Newton; their Grandchildren Matthew Alan Klingaman and his wife Lacey of Mt. Holly, Jennifer Elizabeth Thrift and her husband Charlie of Stanley, Marshall William Sigmon of Charlotte, and Jordan Elizabeth Sigmon of Charlotte; their great-Grandchildren Kamryn Elizabeth Thrift of Stanley and Ryder James Klingaman of Mt. Holly; nieces Lynn Sigmon Laws of Newton, Kim Sigmon Gulzar of Mt. Holly and Donna Sigmon Wellmon of St. Louis; and nephews Marcus Todd McCurry of Greensboro and David Eugene Sigmon of Newton.  Tom was predeceased by another nephew, the late Jeffrey Manson Sigmon of Newton.

A celebration of his life will be held on April 26, 2019 at Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte at 1:00pm.  The family will greet visitors following the service in Jubilee Hall. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Aldersgate Resident Financial Assistance Fund (Aldersgate at Shamrock, 3800 Shamrock Drive, Charlotte, NC 28215).  Tom’s family also wishes to extend our sincere thanks to the staff of Aldersgate Retirement Community, Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, Dr. James P. Smith, MD, and Dr. Justin P. Favaro, MD, PhD.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at


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  • LaVon M. Sigmon

    Thank all of you for your comments regarding what Tom has meant to you in your life. He was a wonderful person, son, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, pastor, friend, classmate, neighborhood, coworker, and so much more. I miss him being right here beside me; however am very blessed to know that he has been healed! It was so hard watching him try to get each breath these last couple of ears, and more so in the months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes. He is healed. God is so good! Thank each of you for the part you have played in our journey together. In whatever way I can be of help to each of you please let me know. I love you and the part you have played in Tom's and my life. Bless each one of you, LaVon Sigmon

  • Mike sigmon

    Love and prayers to u all cousins. Glad to be a part of your earthly and heavenly family. So glad to have known such a fantastic visionary leader. Love to u all. Cousin mike.

  • Scott E Ireland

    Tom Sigmon was an influential person in my life, and I will always appreciate all he did for me. He was the pastor who received me into membership as I made the life-altering decision to become a Protestant after growing up in the Roman Catholic Church. He assisted in performing the wedding of my wife and I, now nearly 30 years ago!
    But more than this, Tom was always a very welcoming person. After my in-laws built their retirement home across the street from Tom and LaVon at Lake Junaluska, it never failed that when I would arrive there, Tom was always one of the first to say hello! He was always a constant encourager as I made the decision to become a United Methodist pastor.
    I will remember that Tom was always such a wonderful and caring presence - something I will miss. Thank you, Tom, for all you did to influence my life!

  • Jill Stroupe

    LaVon, I was so sorry to hear of Tom's passing. I have so many fond memories from Lake Junaluska of Poke and me and you and Tom. Many heartfelt thoughts and prayers for you and your family.
    Jill Stroupe

  • Shirley and Robbie Combs

    Mom and I are continuing to lift you and the rest of the family in prayers. You've meant so much to our family over the years.

  • Brenda Honeycutt Watson

    when I was a student at Lenoir Rhyne, Tom was a student pastor at my church Westley Chapel . On Sunday when he would to to the church he would come by my dorm and give me a ride home for the day. LaVon and Tommy were supportive of me through out collage. The Methodist Church has lost a great servant.

  • Brenda Maddox

    A wonderful pastor and mentor. Blessings to all the family.

  • Sylvia King

    We have been saddened as we heard that Thomas has died. We know that you are grieving and want you to know that your family is in our prayers for comfort as you go through this hard time. Our FTF group will miss seeing him at our gatherings. Blessings to you and your family. Al & Sylvia Johnson King

  • John & Linda Herold

    Tom was especially kind to us while serving as our district superintendent. He helped get us moved home where we later retired. Lavon you will always be special to us. I shared a lot to you while we were in retreats. May God Bless You and your family during this time of loss.

  • Larry Hoke, Atlanta, GA

    I am sorry to hear this. We both had summer jobs at Prestige Furniture Co., Newton, NC in the mid 1950's where we nailed on spring clips together. You certainly have my sympathy. May the Lord give you His peace and comfort.