Thomas “Tom” Testa, 75, passed away Monday, October 21, 2019, at John F. Keever Jr. Solace Center in Asheville, NC, after bravely and valiantly battling health problems for many years.
Tom was born in Akron, Ohio, one of 8 children. The Testa family lived in Akron until he was 5 and then moved to a farm in neighboring Brimfield. Tom began working tirelessly on the farm at a young age, working with the dairy cows and tending the fields. His fortitude and determination were demonstrated by an incident that occurred when he was a teenager. Injured in gym class one day at school, nevertheless, Tom assisted in delivering a Holstein calf that evening. He was later diagnosed with a broken collar bone.
Tom graduated from Ohio State University in 1967 and was hired immediately by Owens-Illinois as an industrial engineer, where he worked creatively in industrial design. He and his then wife, Pam, had 3 children. Tom had a second successful career in real estate at his brokerage,Tom Testa Realty in Brimfield.
Tom remarried in 1978 to Sharon Smart, then a widow with 3 children. The family moved to Cape Coral, Florida in 1978, where he again pursued a career in real estate. In 1980 they had a son, David. On a vacation trip to visit friends, they fell in love with western North Carolina and moved to the Asheville area in 1991. Tom worked at Lowe’s on Tunnel Road for 13 years.
Tom’s greatest joy was taking on challenging projects around the house and solving them with his ingenuity. He was skilled at doing his own vehicle repairs and worked often with son David into the late evening in his beloved garage. He even built an air hockey table for his children. His favorite car was the ‘55 Chevy he owned as a young man. Tom was happiest when he was surrounded by family – which typically involved the outdoors or food.
Tom is survived by his beloved wife of 41 years, Sharon, cherished children Shari, Lauri (Rusty), Paul (Kimmie), David (Mandy), James Smart (Dawn), Jodi Smart, Jeffrey Smart, “special daughters” Rena Smart & Tammy Smart, his siblings: Donald (Barbara), Robert, William, Madelyn (Michael) Newlon, Mary (Gaylen) Donohew, sister-in-law Rosemary, many grandchildren & great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Pam Testa, mother of Shari, Lauri & Paul, also remained a close friend of the family. Tom was predeceased by his father, James Testa, mother Pauline (nee Priolo), brothers Gerald & Michael & sister-in-law, Marilyn.
The family wishes to express much gratitude to those special people who lovingly and compassionately cared for Tom during the difficult time of his illness. Special thanks to Dr. William Simons, whose compassion and dedication were a blessing for so many years.
A memorial mass service will be held at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 768 Asbury Rd, Candler, NC. on Saturday, November 16, at 1:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Alzheimer's Association, www.alz.org, St. Jude’s Childrens’ Research Hospital, www.stjude.org or National Alliance on Mental Illness, www.nami.org.
To send flowers to Thomas' family, please visit our floral section.