Thomas Crowder, longtime Raleigh Council member, died today | Citizen

Thomas Crowder, longtime Raleigh Council member, died today

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Thomas Crowder died this afternoon. I believe the funeral will be Saturday at Western Boulevard Presbyterian Church. There's also talk of a public memorial service on Friday, but I don't think it's set yet.

I shared the news with some friends just now. Here's what I wrote:

I'm very sorry to report this. Thomas Crowder, our longtime District D City Councilman and a man who loved his hometown of Raleigh, NC, died this afternoon. A close friend who's been acting as family spokesperson these last few difficult weeks just called with the news. She said some District D residents have a plan to keep their porch lights on all night as a sign of respect for Thomas. I think that's a great idea.

Thomas Crowder
  • Thomas Crowder
I've said before, Thomas Crowder was a gifted architect. He was also that rare public servant who did what he thought was right for his district and his city unfailingly, and who never bowed to pressure from anybody — any interest group, any powerful politician — to do something else. It just didn't occur to him that his job wasn't to use best judgment and let the chips fall where they may. Fittingly, though he bucked many a powerful Democrat in his 11 years on Council, he was overwhelmingly popular with voters from both parties in his district and, I think, throughout the city. He was the best kind of Democrat, the kind who stood with his constituents first, last and always.

I've seen Thomas and Kay several times over the past few weeks, and they were blessed to have many, many friends come by, share old stories, have some laughs and shed tears together. Rachel and Garrett, his daughter and son, were with him, his mother Mary was with him, and Venia, his sister, and Chris and David, his brothers, were with him just about every day.

Thomas was on oxygen, but he was in good spirits, almost his old self except that he knew the tumors were growing in his lungs and the time was coming when he wouldn't be able to breath even with the help of oxygen tanks. That time came today. But I can tell you that he died knowing that his friends loved him, his family loved him and that he'd done himself proud.

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Thomas resigned from the Council recently and Kay was appointed to serve out his term, through next year.

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