Obituary of Thomas "Tom" B. Grissom, Jr
Per Tom’s request, may this be a time of celebration and joy in his homecoming and entry into God’s Eternal Kingdom.
Thomas B. Grissom, Jr was born on June 16, 1933, in Burnside, Kentucky. The son of Stella Lewis Grissom and Thomas Baker Grissom, Sr., Tom spent all his life in Kentucky with the exception of a brief tour with the U.S. Navy, 1955-1957.
Tom graduated from Somerset High School in 1951 and spent the next four years at Georgetown College earning his degree in Business Administration. While attending Georgetown College many deep and lasting friendships were forged.
After college, Tom entered the U.S. Navy, spending fifteen months in the Philippines serving as the liaison between NAS Cubi Point and Subic Bay Naval Station.
1957 was a pivotal year in Tom’s life. He married Marilyn Bauer, and they had three children, James, Lisa, and Julie (Tommy). He has also been blessed with eight grandchildren; Krystal (Trey), Brittany, Courtney, Brenden (Emily), Nathaniel, Gracey (Corey), Thomas, and Lucas. Attaining 90, Tom was also blessed to enjoy five great grandchildren: Riley, Reagan, Wrigley, Audrey, and Micah.
During his retirement years he met and married his present wife, also named Marilyn. He then gained two stepsons, Eric (Tonya) and Tim (Amanda) along with five more grandchildren; Morgan, Ryan, Alivia, Carter, and Amelia. All the grand and great grandchildren enjoyed Papa Tom’s sense of humor and attention.
In 1957, Tom entered the business world as a partner. In Grissom Rakestraw Lumber Company, a manufacturer of hardwood lumber and hardwood flooring.
From 1968 to 1986, Tom worked in retail, owning and operating a furniture and appliance store in Somerset, Kentucky.
During the years 1987-1990 Tom was involved in the medical field as administrator of an Outpatient Surgery Center, followed by a time as Senior Account Executive in the field of lease financing.
Governor Wallace Wilkinson offered Tom the Directorship of Kentucky Correctional Industries in 1990. Tom moved to Frankfort and remained in that position for eleven years serving under the administrations of three governors and holds the record for longevity in this post. In 2001 Tom retired from Kentucky State Government and became a consultant in Correctional Industries.
Throughout his life, Tom believed strongly in giving back to his community, so he found time to be involved in many civic organizations in Burnside, Somerset, and Frankfort and at Georgetown College in his beloved Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.
Tom’s involvement in trade organizations promoting the welfare of industry relations was also important to him. His leadership was beneficial to many trade associations throughout his career. Most notably in his early years Tom was the youngest person to serve as president of National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association, a major trade group in the U.S. at that time. During his tenure as Director of Correctional Industries, Tom served as president of both National Correctional Industries of America and American Corrections Association.
After Tom’s retirement in 2001, his time in state government led to his final work position as a consultant in the correction industries.
Throughout his life the sport of golf and its friendships afforded Tom great enjoyment. He took part in many tournaments and golf outings with friends and business colleagues and was most pleased to finally play in Scotland, the birthplace of his favorite sport.
For all of Tom’s involvement in business, Community, and civic affairs he maintained that his time in service to God’s Kingdom and his church are the highest importance. Tom served on various committees of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, as President of Kentucky Baptist Board of Childcare, and was a board member of the Romanian American Mission having made seven mission trips to Romania. The opportunity for service in RAM, as a Deacon of Buck Run Baptist Church, and his involvement in its jail ministry were sources of greatest reward and joy to Tom.
In closing the following scripture, Ephesians 3:14-21 shares the Apostle Paul’s prayer for spiritual growth. It is a doxology, a prayer of praise to God. “When I think of all this, I fall on my knees and pray to my Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on the earth. I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into Go’s love and keep you strong. And my you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the full ness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held 12:00pm, Monday, November 20, 2023, at Buck Run Baptist Church, Frankfort, with Dr. Hershel York and Dr. Robert Browning officiating. Burial will follow at Burnside Cemetery in Burnside, Kentucky at 3:30pm. Dariel Rexroat, Robert Curry, Terry Gabhart, Dusty Rhodes, Armondo Arristia, and Cristi Chivu will serve as Pallbearers. Tim Hughes and Mike Hancock will serve as Honorary Pallbearers. Visitation will be held from 10:00am until the time of service on Monday, at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests Memorial Contributions be made to the RAM (Romanian American Missions) at Buck Run Baptist Church.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas "Tom" Grissom, Jr, please visit Tribute Store