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