A member of one of the first families of Virginia, Mr. Thomas Fleetwood Hairston was born January 22, 1930, in Martinsville, Virginia, and died on April 19, 2021 in Savannah, Georgia. He was the third son of the late Marshall Smith Hairston and Dixie McCabe Hairston. When he was nine months old, the family rejoined his father, an lnternational Manufacturer's Representative for the British American Tobacco Company, in China. Upon his father's death in 1936, the family returned to Virginia and lived at his maternal grandmother's home in Patrick County, Virginia. Raised on the family tobacco plantation, Mr. Hairston attended Hardin Reynolds Memorial School, Critz, Virginia, graduating as valedictorian in 1948. He received his B.S. Degree in Commerce and L.L.B. in Law from the University of Virginia in 1952 and 1955, respectively. While in Law School Mr. Hairston was Chancellor of the Sigma Nu Phi Legal Fraternity, Dicta Manager of the Virginia Law Weekly, Associate Editor of the Reading Guide and member of the Student Council. Having passed the Virginia Bar Examination after the second year of law school upon graduation he became a member of the Virginia and D.C. Bars and subsequently admitted to practice before the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, the U. S. Supreme Court, and the U. S. Court of Military Appeals.
Upon graduation from Law School. Hairston joined the Naval Reserve and attended Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. Upon his release from active duty, Mr. Hairston returned to Virginia and practiced law in Chatham, Virginia. On August 15, 1959, he married Cherie Anuta Lynch of Sebring, Florida, and San Diego, California. He returned to the Navy as a Regular Navy Officer in October 1960 and after 20 years of active duty retired as a Captain in December 1977 having served in numerous duty stations around the world. Some of his service medals include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with combat V, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm and Republic of China Armed Service Medal. Upon returning from China the family made its home in Mclean, Virginia.
Upon his retirement from the Navy, Captain Hairston joined the Washington Office of the Union Oil Company of California and retired as Corporate Vice President in 1995. He subsequently moved to The Landings on Skidaway Island, Savannah, Georgia. Mr. Hairston was a member of Mountain Home A.F.& A.M. Lodge, Stuart, Virginia, Army Navy Country Club, Military Order of the Carabao, Washington Golf and Country Club, Army Navy Club, The Landings Club, Washington Business-Government Relations Council, Board of Governors Ford Theatre, Chairman of American Petroleum institute’s General Committee for Federal Regulations and a Director of the American Petroleum Institute.
Mr. Hairston was preceded in death by his brothers, Marshall Smith Hairston and Judge Samuel McC. Hairston, and his wife, Cherie Lynch. Hairston. He is survived by his wife, Marie Simmons Hairston, of Savannah, Georgia; son, Gregory Hairston (wife Marsha) and granddaughter, Eilene, of Midlothian, Virginia; daughter, Susan H. Bowyer, of Navarra, Florida; two grandsons, Colin and Evan Bowyer, of Tallahassee, Florida. He is also survived by two step-sons, Charles R. Schaller, and his wife, Eleanor, and William A. Schaller, and his wife Edith.
Graveside service will be held at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery.
In deepest and heartfelt sympathy for the loss of Tom.
- Katherine and Russell Miller, Columbia, SC
Hey, Greg, I was perusing the Post's obits because one of my sisters will be listed this week. Sorry to read about your dad. My parents passed about 12 years ago and my husband, 4, but my 3 "kids" and g-kids are great. Your dad's life sounds similar to mine, with the Naval career, etc. I left NVA 8 yrs ago for the lake life near Charlotte. I hope you are enjoying Midlothian, and Susan, FL. I found GriefShare very helpful when my husband died. I'll pray for you!
- Sheila (Sellman) Woodward, Denver, North Carolina
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel