Tom was born in Clinton, Mississippi and graduated from Ramsey High School in Birmingham. During World War II he served in the Navy as a pilot and flight instructor. He was employed by the Soderhamn/ Kockums Machine Manufacturing Corporation for thirty-four years, serving as president from 1964 until his retirement in 1989. Tom was a member of Canterbury Methodist Church in Birmingham.
In Talladega, he was an active member of the First United Methodist Church for fifty-two years. He served in many capacities while at FUMC; among them were the FUMC Board Foundation, Finance Committee, and Council. Active in civic life, Tom served as president of the Talladega Chamber of Commerce, Talladega Country Club, and Kiwanis Club, where he also served as District Lieutenant Governor. He served the First Bank of Alabama on its Board of Directors for thirty-six years.
Tom was an avid hunter and fisherman, spending many days on the lake and in the forest. He was a skilled woodworker, specializing in Christmas manger scenes (crèches) and giving more than 100 to local churches and friends during his twenty-seven years of retirement.
A prolific artist and painter, his work placed first in a juried art competition in Pensacola, Florida. He and Elaine loved to travel together, and he made more than 150 trips to Europe for his work.