Thomas Blair Estes, 82, was born on April 9, 1932 in Montgomery, AL, second son of the late John Roy Estes and Willene Alice Turner Estes, and died on July 30, 2014, in Columbus, GA. A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick’s Church on August 2, 2014 at 11:00 am EDT, with Father Tom Weise presiding, with interment at Lakeview Memory Gardens following. The rosary will be recited at 5:00 pm with visitation after from 6:00 until 8:00 pm, at Vance Memorial Chapel, Phenix City, on August 1, 2014.
Tom’s father was an automobile mechanic, who moved about the country until late in life, so Tom was brought up in Alabama, California, New Mexico, and Colorado; graduating from Canon City High School in Colorado in 1949, one month after turning 17. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, serving in the Training Command as a drill instructor and academic instructor, and was honorably discharged after 3 ½ years. On Feb. 1, 1952, he was married to his childhood sweetheart, Anita Ann Jones, in Montgomery, AL. He completed an undergraduate degree with the double major of Psychology and Philosophy at St. Mary’s College in CA. He was employed as a Probation Officer in Marin County, CA, advancing to assistant to the chief Probation Officer before returning to his home state at age 39 to attend Law School at the University of Alabama, earning his JD in 1974.
He was employed as Chief Deputy District Attorney in Russell County, AL from 1974 to 1984, and from 1990 to 1995, interrupted by 6 year period in the private practice of law in Phenix City. He retired from the DA’s Office in 1995, but was called out of retirement by Gov. Fob James and appointed to serve as District Judge for Russell County from 1997 to 1999.
Tom was a member of Saint Patrick’s Church, where he attended Holy Mass on a daily basis from early 1990’s until his death.
He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 56 years, and survived by his brother, LTC James O. Estes, USA ret. (Sue Cousins); as well as 4 children, Maria Theresa Estes, Martha Elizabeth Treadway (Dave) and Matthew Thomas Estes, all of Phenix City; and Mark David Estes (Jeannine Cloutier) of Topsham, ME. Grandchildren, Ray Thomas Saunders, III, twins, Melissa Elizabeth Burns and Brandi Leigh Burns Hero (Michael), Joshua Thomas Estes, Jared Thomas Estes, Tyler Jay Estes, Miranda Nicole Estes, Brooke Mae Estes, Tristin Chandler Estes, Tyler Treadway and Robert Treadway. Great grandchildren, Thomas Blair Saunders, Cannon Bryant Saunders, Preston Gregory Hero, Cameron Michael Hero, Madyson Leigh Hero, Kyleigh Grace Treadway, and Liam Foster Estes.
Memorial contributions to the Lazarus Society, 607 16th Street, Phenix City will be treasured by the family.