Benjamin T. "Tom" Garbee, a cherished father, grandfather, brother, uncle and dear friend to many, age 75, of Lynchburg, VA, bid his final farewell in his home on the morning of October 31, 2023, stepping into the embrace of his Savior.
Born on January 12, 1948, as the eldest of three to the late Benjamin Thornton and Nellie Williams Garbee, Tom spent his early years in Gladys, VA. He often returned to the "land" he so loved, enjoying its tranquility and the joy of working on his many projects. This was his personal paradise. His spiritual path began close to his beloved spot, at Mount Zion Methodist Church where he was a lifetime member.
In a word, Tom was tenacious, and his inquisitiveness and keen intellect drove his pursuits including airplane piloting and scuba diving. In high school, he excelled in track and pole vaulting. His travels took him across 48 states and to Europe, yet his heart remained anchored to his treasured spot in the country.
Tom’s extraordinary mechanical skills led him to undertake and conquer challenges that others would not dare to begin. His mastery over heavy equipment is remarkable, with various sites across Virginia standing as a testament to his skills. One such landmark is the Liberty University Mountain Logo, where he carried out the initial three-acre excavation in 2007, with the Lord using Tom’s talents to provide a spot of tranquility that many enjoy. Tom worked passionately until his health no longer allowed. Beneath his independent and resilient exterior, was a man with a heart of gold, an attribute cherished by those who knew him intimately.
He leaves behind his dearly beloved daughter, Christina Garbee Matthews (Todd), grandsons Benjamin C. Matthews (Mary Helen) and Joseph Thomas Matthews, his brother, Robert E Garbee (friend, Judy Hankins), and his sister, Sherry Lyn Wood (Hollis). The last month Tom was surrounded by those he loved the most – Sherry provided untiring care for Tom in his final days with Christina and Robbie by her side, their strength stemming from the deep bond of love they shared with Tom.
Tom's legacy is one of grit, passion, and devotion to his loved ones. This legacy will be celebrated at Tharp Funeral Home Friday November 3, 2023, at 2 pm with visitation following.
In lieu of flowers, consider donations to Mount Zion United Methodist Church (5662 Red House Rd, Rustburg, VA 24588) or Rivermont Evangelical Presbyterian Church (2424 Rivermont Ave, Lynchburg, VA 24503).
Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.