Thomas Alford, a gifted tenor, accomplished actor, and honorary uncle to many, died peacefully at his home on Thursday, March 1, 2018.
Thomas was born June 30, 1958, in Chattanooga, to the late Milton and Nancy Spence Alford.
He graduated from Tyner High School in 1976 and earned his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1980. Thomas retired from TVA in 2003 as a senior accountant after 23 years of service.
Thomas had a lifelong passion for music and for the arts. He was a founding member of the Chattanooga Bach Choir and sang in the Choral Arts of Chattanooga and the Scenic City Chorale. He was active in a number of theatres in the community, including the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, the Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga, the Oak Street Playhouse, the Backstage Theatre, and Grace Players. In his 34 years of service to the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, he volunteered both onstage and off, from parking lot attendant to light board operator to house manager to board treasurer and president. At the time of his death, he was serving on the Board of Stewards.
Thomas appeared twice in Chattanooga Theatre Centre productions of Into the Woods, winning a Miss Annie Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for his first performance. He participated in many other productions at CTC including Children of Eden, Six Degrees of Separation, Rumors, Annie, Sweet Charity, The Fantasticks, My Fair Lady, Lend Me a Tenor, A Little Night Music, Fuddy Meers, and Thief River. In his final production, in 2016, he served as stage manager for The Library.
Thomas possessed a true volunteer spirit. He was a dedicated blood donor, a tutor with the Chattanooga Area Literacy Movement, and a lifelong member of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church. He was a graduate of the Holmberg Arts Leadership Institute and participated in the Imagine Chattanooga 20/20 cultural planning process. In his leisure time, Thomas enjoyed growing roses, cooking, and reading mystery novels.
Thomas had an infectious smile, a wicked sense of humor, and a word of encouragement always at the ready. He was a life well lived.
Thomas was preceded in death by his parents, and his brother, Jimmy.
Survivors include his spouse, Mark Reneau; brother, Robert (Graham Brannan) Alford; sister, Suzanne (Eric) Burnett; nephews, Spence (Sara) Burnett and Ben Burnett; niece, Amabda Burnett; stepsons, Charles (Sarah Tiedemann) Reneau and Doug (Claire) Reneau; and grandchildren, Max and Eliza Glynn.
The family is deeply grateful for the compassionate care Thomas received from our Hearth Hospice team, including Chaplain Alan and caregivers Rusty, Kim, Rhonda, and Tammy.
Services will be held on Sunday, March 18, at 2 p.m. at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church with the Rev. Clair Sauer officiating. A reception will follow in the lobby of the Chattanooga Theatre Centre.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Chattanooga Theatre Centre or to Wesley Memorial UMC.
Visit www.heritagechattanooga.com to share condolences to the family and view the memorial tribute.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, March 17, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Road.