John Thomas Ogburn died peacefully on Sept 20, 2014. Tom was born in Smithfield on September 7, 1929 to Thomas Chester and Lillie Wrenn Ogburn. During the Depression, his family moved to Garner where he lived until going away to college.
Tom was a proud 1952 graduate of Wake Forest University, where he attended his beloved alma mater on a full basketball scholarship. After the Korean conflict, he returned to complete his degree and was hired by Wachovia Bank, working in Greensboro and Winston-Salem. For four years he worked for Carter-Hubbard Publishing in North Wilkesboro with The Journal-Patriot newspaper until hired by North Carolina National Bank. He served many years with the bank as senior vice president and city executive, loving every minute of it. He was especially proud of the President's Cup that recognized overall excellence in banking that he received in 1975.
Tom was a member of the Wilkes Community College Endowment Corporation board of directors for 30 years and served for 15 years as President. His fondest accomplishment was being a part of the fund-raising efforts to build the John A. Walker Community Center (Walker Center). He served as President of the Wilkes Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the United Way of Wilkes, and the North Wilkesboro Recreation Commission. Tom served on the Wake Forest University Alumni Board.
Tom is survived by his wife of 15 years, Jessie Allen Sellars Ogburn, two sons, John Thomas Ogburn, Jr. (Jack) of North Wilkesboro and Daniel Carter Ogburn, and wife Martha of Charlotte. Three step-children; Laura Sellars Kendrick and husband Dixon, Rainey Sellars, Jr., and wife Melissa, Allen Sellars and wife Cindy, and 12 grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Lillian Ogburn Cochrane, of Rock Hill, SC, and brother, Timothy Ogburn of Columbia, SC. Tom is predeceased by his first wife, Jane Carter Ogburn of North Wilkesboro and sister, Dorothy Ogburn Howell.
A service of celebration of Tom's life will be held at the North Wilkesboro Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, September 23 at 2pm with Rev. Dr. Benton J. Trawick III officiating. Burial with military honors by Post #1142 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guard will be in Mountlawn Memorial Park. The family will receive friends following the service in the church fellowship hall. A memorial service at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Greensboro will be held on Wednesday, September 24 at 11 AM. Tom's family wants to offer special thanks to the employees of Well Spring and Hospice who provided excellent care and enabled Tom to enjoy his later years with dignity and independence. Reins Sturdivant Funeral Home of North Wilkesboro is assisting the family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials made to the Ogburn Family Scholarship at Wilkes Community College, attention Allison Phillips, PO Box 120, Wilkesboro, NC 28697.