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Tommy and his wife, Helen, of 54 years, resided in Manchester, Tenn., but after an extended illness, had been hospitalized in Chattanooga for the past five months.
Tommy graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1960 and from there to a “walk on” starter in basketball at Tennessee Tech University. After two years of College, he married his forever high school sweetheart. He served four years in the U.S. Air Force, graduated from the University of Tennessee with a BS degree in Business, majoring in statistics in 1967 and retired in 1998 after working 30 years at Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tenn.
After retirement in 1998, he and Helen returned to their beloved home in Oak Ridge and lived there for 16 years until moving to Manchester, where their daughter resided.
Tommy’s joy of life surrounded his family and friends. Even though he experienced a tragic life changing accident in 1978, which left him paralyzed, he continued to live an exemplary life of great character, never complaining or becoming bitter. He was an avid fisherman, golfer and enjoyed many other outdoor activities. He continued to work every day while being confined to a wheelchair; traveled and spent valued time with children and grandchildren.
Tommy was preceded in death by his parents, George H. and Ernestine Estes Dykes and brother-in-law, Bruce Rayfield.
Tommy is survived by his wife, Alicia Helen Thomas Dykes; son, Thomas R. Dykes Jr.; daughter, Kinda Ann Young-Rayfield; four grandchildren, Anna Marie Dykes, Jacob Thomas Dykes, Thomas Kohl Young, and Karson Alicia Young; one brother, George H. Dykes Jr. and wife Terry; two sisters, Patricia Gates and Donna Jean Waddell and her husband, Ralph; many nieces and nephews; and special in-laws, Karen M. Dykes and David H. Young.
The family received friends April 8, 2017, at Kern Memorial United Methodist Church, 451 E. Tennessee Ave., Oak Ridge, Tenn. A memorial service followed at the church officiated by the Rev. Don Morris .