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Thomas Edwin Rardin Jr.
October 11, 1934 ~ January 21, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old
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Thomas Edwin Rardin, Jr., MD, of Asheville, North Carolina died on January 21, 2024, at the age of 89. He graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Ct. While living in Connecticut, he met his future wife, Shirley Boardman. He and his beloved wife, Shirley, have been married for 67 years. He attended the Divinity School at the University of Chicago before going to medical school at Western Reserve University. His residency and fellowship in rheumatology were done at the University of Virginia. Subsequently, he was in the Army Reserves for two years.
Tom attended Camp Sequoyah in Weaverville as a child and later worked as a camp counselor. As he had fond memories of western North Carolina, he was eager to move to Asheville in 1968, where he practiced rheumatology for 30 years. Tom was known for treating his staff and patients with care and compassion. He could frequently be found volunteering at the front desk of the Lewis Rathbun Center, where he kindly greeted patients and families.
Along with his wife, he also enjoyed taking classes at the College for Seniors, where he played and taught Mah Jongg. Tom’s friendships ranged far and wide, making friends wherever he went. He became a dedicated local sports fan, and could be found every Friday night in the Asheville High School football stadium cheering on the Cougars. During his 50 year membership at Trinity Episcopal Church, Tom enjoyed many events and outings, creating lifelong memories with his family. Skiing in the Rockies and spending summer vacations at Litchfield Beach, SC were highlights for Tom.
In 2006 Tom and Shirley moved to the Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community. Along with numerous other Deerfield activities, he could be spotted in his all-whites on the croquet court. With the Parkinson’s Disease that he fought valiantly for 27 years, the care and opportunities available to him at Deerfield were a blessing. In the last four years he relocated to the Skilled Care Unit where he thrived under the wonderful care he received there. He also rediscovered his artistic talent at the painting and craft classes he regularly attended.
Tom was immensely proud of his four children: Dr. Duff Rardin and wife Angie of Asheville; Heather Brasington of Duxbury, MA; Thomas E. Rardin III and wife Donna Blyskal of Apex, NC; and Laurel Rardin and her partner Clark Bell of Asheville, all of whom survive him. He is also survived by his sister Jennybelle Rardin and her partner Joan Carney of Sedona, AZ. and nine grandchildren: Dr. Ben Rardin (Alexandra) of Portland OR; Sam Rardin, Lacy Sledge (Kerry), and Katie Brasington of Asheville; Hunter Brasington (Nisha) of Hollywood, CA;
Nicholas Rardin and Lily Barber of Raleigh; Henry Rardin of Chapel Hill; and Caleb Barber of Washington, DC; and one great granddaughter, Florence Rardin of Portland. “Pops” as he was known to his grandchildren and great grand-daughter, took great pride in being involved in their lives and activities.
Tom was loved and admired by his family for his wisdom and his kindness. He will be greatly missed. A memorial service will be held in Grace Chapel at Deerfield on January 25 at 3:00 with a reception to follow in the Tuton Community Center.
Contributions in memory of Tom may be made to the Deerfield Residents Fund at DERC, 1617 Hendersonville Rd. Asheville NC 28803 or to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.