Thomas James McLemore 1951 ~ 2024

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Thomas James Mc- Lemore, 73, of Waxahachie, Texas, passed away at home on June 3, 2024. Tom never met a stranger and loved all people–especially his children and grandchildren– who he bragged about to anyone who would listen. As a bona fide talker, Tom’s mission was to find common ground and bring a smile to everyone’s face. He always put others first, and never shied away from hard work.

Tom was born on April 16, 1951 in Eureka, California to Gerald and Virginia McLemore. After briefly moving to Cheyenne, Oklahoma, the family settled in Tipton, Oklahoma. He excelled in baseball, basketball and football at Tipton High School. Following high school graduation in 1969, Tom played baseball at Ranger Jr. College and then transferred to Oklahoma Christian College where he was a walk-on member of the baseball team. After a few short weeks, he earned a full athletic scholarship as the starting third baseman. That same year, Tom helped the team to a third place finish in the 1972 NAIA College World Series.

After graduating from OCC in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in Education, he joined his brother, Jerry, coaching and teaching at Denison High School in Denison, Texas. A few years later they were both offered football coaching positions at Waxahachie High School in Waxahachie, Texas at the same time, which they both accepted. In order to distinguish between the two Coach McLemores on the team, their new nicknames were quickly solidified as “JMc” and “TMc.”

With aspirations to tackle leadership roles beyond the field and classroom, Tom earned his master’s in Education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University and a Mid-Management Administrator certificate from Texas Woman’s University. He was named the assistant principal at Waxahachie High School and then Waxahachie Junior High School. From 1995 until retirement in 2001, he served as the Waxahachie Junior High principal. In his constant desire to serve others and build relationships, he held multiple volunteer roles. Tom was elected president of the Waxahachie Lions Club, and was an active member of the Waxahachie branch of the NAACP. He helped raise money for scholarships as a board member for the Oklahoma Christian University North Texas Alumni chapter. He was also a deacon at Brown St. Church of Christ (formerly College Street Church of Christ) in Waxahachie, where he was a member for nearly 50 years. He remained faithful to the Lord until his death. The positive impact Tom left on everyone he came in contact with was undeniable and usually unforgettable. To know him was to love him.

During retirement, he stayed busy working as a Texas high school football official, running his own landscaping company, playing golf and fishing, and was an unofficial NFL analyst who could reel off any stat at any time. His biggest passion was bird hunting. You could catch him chasing dove, quail and pheasant all over Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota with his beloved bird dogs. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, and close cousin Brian Wesner. Tom is survived by his former wife, Carol McLemore, and their son, Ryan (Allyssa) McLemore of Waxahachie and daughter, Erin (Sig) Rydquist of Austin, Texas, and four grandchildren, Lawson and Sallie Mc- Lemore, Fritz and Jack Rydquist–who promoted him to “GMc”; brother Jerry (Gailene) Mc- Lemore of Waxahachie, nephew Justin (Nicole) McLemore of Richardson, Texas and their son Nickel McLemore and niece Jenni McLemore of Waxahachie.

Services will be held Saturday, June 8, 2024 at 11:00am at Brown Street Church of Christ.

Memorials can be made in Tom’s name to the Thursday Meals Program at the Brown Street Church of Christ, which was a program he benefited from for several years.

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