In Memory

John Thomas Shearin, II

Tom was a quiet student at Huguenot.  I lost contact with him until about 18 years ago when we reunited through my husband.  Tom had gone on to get a doctorate degree from UVA, but his job with W. O. Grubb was his passion, along with collecting antiques.  Quite a personality after all.  We will miss him greatly!  Gayle

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07/15/11 09:34 PM #1    

Denise Morrissett (Green)

Tommy was a wonderful husband and father to his two daughters, Graham and Ashley. He will be greatly missed.

My daughter, Devon, and Graham are friends.

If anyone has high school pictures of Tommy, his daughters would love to see them.  If you have any pics that you wish to share, just conatct me please.

Denise Morrissett Green

07/17/11 06:23 PM #2    

D. Hunter Armstrong

Tommy was a special person.  We started school together in Mrs. Smith's (Irene Smith's mother) 1st grade class at Forest View Elementary School, and our last class together was Mr. Hungerford's 1st period English class our last year at Huguenot.  Throughout, we were in classes together (our moms even car pooled us, along with Tommy Joyce's, to swimming lessons at the old Manchester Lake in the summer of '58), we played (as kids) together, and, I'd like to think, we were friends.  Our friendship wasn't that of extremely close confidants, but, rather, of two buddies who had known one another most of their lives.

Among other things I remember:

Tom's mother always called him, "John Thomas", whether he was in trouble or not.  For most of us of that era, being summoned by the full name indicated some major transgression had been uncovered.  It wasn't so with him.  It was routine at his house.

Tom was the first person I can recall ever mentioning the name of "Jimi Hendrix".  When we were in the 11th grade, he attended a Hendrix concert in Va Beach (mid-week, at that), and, the next day, regaled us with stories of it in Mrs. Hardy's U.S. History class.  They [the stories] included a rather enthusiastic, if not inept, depiction of Hendrix playing the guitar with his teeth.

I remember Mr. Hungerford, in some futile attempt to inspire creativity among his students, assigning us a personal writing project.  As I recall, it was a two to three page essay about any subject we might choose.  Tom's was entitled, "Why I'm Glad My Name Isn't Snorky Booger!"  I loved it, but I think it went a tad underappreciated by Mr. Hungerford.

I also remember Tom refusing to attend our commencement exercises.  Try as we did to change his mind, he was convinced someone in the audience would comment on his hair (and his was far longer than most), and he was sure he would respond in some equally uncivil manner.  He did not suffer the comments of fools easily.  He did not want to embarrass his family with such behavior, and so he was not at the Mosque that night.  Those were interesting times.

After school, we lost touch with each other.  We would see one another, from time to time, when I was home from college.  Aside from our class reunions, the last time I remember socializing with him was at the Stratford Grill.  He, his father, and I sat in a booth and shared a few beers, and discussed the status of the world.  That was close to forty years ago.  By the time I came back to Richmond, I heard that he was married, raising sheep(?) or something, but I don't recall seeing him around.  We had both moved on with our lives.  The last time I saw Tom was in the parking lot of the Stratford Grill after our 30th reunion.  For whatever reasons, he didn't enter the place.  He was just outside, sort of on the periphery of things, which was very typical of him, I think.  We said a few words of little substance and left seperately.  I find it very odd, now.  Even though I've seen little of Tom the last few decades, I always knew he was nearby, in a manner of speaking.  Even though I missed him, there was no sense of finality about it.  Now that has changed.   


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