Thomas Edward LaGuardia Jr., 86, of Kingsport, Tenn., went to be with the Lord, Sunday, May 5, 2013.
He was born November 12, 1926, in New York City. He had resided in Kingsport since the age of eight.
Thomas LaGuardia Jr. was a member of St. Dominic’s Catholic Church. He was a devoted man of faith who will never be forgotten. His faith was the core of both his personal and his business life.
He served as Eucharistic Minister and Sacristy Minister of St. Dominic Catholic Church. He was the first Chairman of the St. Dominic Catholic Church Parish Council. Tom was a member of the Nashville Catholic Diocese Finance Committee, of the Knoxville Catholic Diocese Finance Committee, and of the East Tennessee State University Catholic Committee. He was the director of the old St. Dominic Church Finance Committee. Pope Benedict XVI honored Tom with the Benemerenti Medal for long and exceptional service to the church, his family and his community. In addition, Tom supported diocesan evangelization efforts in East Tennessee and worked for the stability of Catholic schools.
His business accomplishments include being President of Giant Food Markets (1946-1984), President and founder of Jiffy Market convenience stores (1956-1984) and the founder of CR Green Stamps. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors of Heritage Federal Savings and Loan of Kingsport. He served as a Director of First Peoples Bank of Johnson City, of Carter County Bank of Elizabethton, of First American Bank of Kingsport and of Heritage Federal Savings and Loan of Kingsport.
He served his community as a member of Holston Valley Hospital Finance Committee, President of Holston Valley Hospital, the first President of Wellmont Health System and the first President of the Holston Valley Foundation Board. He served on the Board of Directors of HVCH, as a member of the Executive Board at HVCH, Vice-President of the Executive Board of HVCH, Secretary of the Executive Board of Directors at HVCH, and Chairman of the Holston Valley Hospital Emergency Room Committee. He served on many other Holston Valley Hospital Committees. Tom was a Secretary and past President of the Crown Colony Homeowners Association. He was a Director of the Kingsport United Way Directors Board.
Tom was also one of the founding Directors of Duke Medical Center Cancer Committee. Dr. Shingleton, who built Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center in Durham, N.C., helped Tom and his wife Kathryn build the Cancer Center at Wellmont Hospital in Kingsport in honor of their daughter, Christine LaGuardia Phillips, who succumbed to breast cancer in 1975.
Tom served his country in the United States Navy during World War II.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Kathryn; father, Thomas Edward LaGuardia Sr.; mother, Elizabeth Hughes LaGuardia; daughter, Christine R. LaGuardia Phillips; and several grandchildren.
Surviving are five daughters, Virginia Chaffin and husband Bob, Mary Ann Wright, Shirley Hutchins and husband Steve, Terri LaGuardia and Kathleen LaGuardia; three sons, Tom LaGuardia III and wife Susan, Larry LaGuardia and wife Teresa and Michael LaGuardia and wife Nancy; sister, Rosalie Tatay; sisters-in-law, Margaret Umberger and husband Rodney and Peggy Huddle; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends at St. Dominic Catholic Church from 1 until 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11. A funeral mass will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. Saturday with Rev. Charles Burton and Rev. Mike Nolan officiating. Graveside services will follow the funeral mass at Oak Hill Memorial Park, Kingsport. Active pallbearers will be sons, Thomas LaGuardia III, Larry LaGuardia and Michael LaGuardia, grandsons, Thomas LaGuardia IV and Laurence “Joey” LaGuardia Jr., and son-in-law, Steven Hutchins Sr. Honorary pallbearers will be grandsons, David Fain Jr., Aaron Fain, Calvin Wright Jr. and Steven Hutchins Jr., son-in-law, Bob Chaffin, and brother-in-law, Rodney Umberger. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to St. Dominic Catholic Church, 2517 North John B. Dennis Highway, Kingsport, TN 37660; or to the Christine LaGuardia Phillips Cancer Center, P.O. Box 1069, Kingsport, TN 37662. Please visit www.hamlettdobson.com to leave an online condolence for the family.
Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Home, Kingsport,(423) 378-3134, is serving the family of Thomas LaGuardia Jr.