Thomas Isley
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Obituary of Thomas Murray Isley

Liberty, NC – Thomas (Thom) Murray Isley passed away to his heavenly home on January 30, 2020, with his family by his side. 

Mr. Isley is survived by his wife of 43 years, Rena Maness Isley of the home and the son of the late William “Bill” Jackson Isley and Betty Jean Nicholson Isley. 

Mr. Isley was a former owner of Action Travel, Inc. and a former partner, Vice President and General Manager of Joel Davis Insurance for many years.  Mr. Isley held a B.A. in Music and was a very talented organist, pianist and vocalist.  He served as organist and pianist at the People’s Church in Mebane at the early age of 12 until his teens.  He also served as Music Director of Long’s Chapel Christian Church for three years while attending college.  He served at Mt. Herman United Methodist Church as Director of Music for Twenty plus years then Director of Music and organist at Mebane United Methodist Church (his home church) from 2001-2007, Director of Music Ministries at Midland Park and Cokesbury United Methodist Church in Charleston, SC from 2007 till 2010 and from 2010-2011 Director of Music Ministries at Trinity United Methodist Church in Thomasville, NC.  Mr. Isley later went on to become a preneed funeral director in North Carolina and South Carolina at the following funeral homes, McClure Funeral Home in Graham, Hayworth Miller Funeral Home in Winston-Salem, Walker’s Funeral Home in Mebane, McAlister Smith Funeral Home in Charleston, SC and Forbis and Dick Funeral Home in Greensboro.  He was a member of the North Carolina Funeral Directors Association. 

Mr. Isley was an avid Southern Gospel Music fan and founded two male quartets and help launch several music careers in Southern Gospel Music such as Greg Bentley and Amy Lambert.  Mr. Isley was a charter member and served on the board of directors of The Southern Gospel Music Guild in Nashville, TN and founded the Gospel Music TV show “Harvest Time” in 1985.  He had the pleasure of working with some of Gospel Music’s most famous legends, such as Eldridge Fox of the Kingston Quartet, The Cathedrals, his favorite group “the Hoppers” of Madison, NC and many others.  He promoted Southern Gospel Music in the Triad Area of NC and hosted “The Gospel Music Show” aired on WBAG in Burlington.  He was a disc jockey at WSML and WBAG and thoroughly enjoyed music of all kinds.  Mr. Isley always gave credit to his Lord and Savior for his musical abilities and served the Lord with all his heart.  Mr. Isley was a past member of The Music Education National Conference
MENV”.  Mr. Isley was an honorary Kentucky Colonel. 

Other than his wife, Mr. Isley is survived by two children; his son, Jerry and wife Amanda of Burlington and daughter, Jessica Faythe Isley of the home; one grandchild, Ayden whom Mr. Isley lovingly called him “Lil Buddy Roe”; one grand puppy, Lucas; a twin brother, Timothy Marion Isley and wife Janice of Mebane; many nieces and nephews that he loved so much; a very special friend and second mother, B. J. Smith of Mebane; and a very special cousin, Nancy Hurst Whitman and husband Richard of Calabash, NC.

Preceded in death by Sisters, Lucretia Dawn Isley Martin and Billie Jean Isley Manness; and son Christopher Thomas Isley.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, February 4th, 11:00am at Mt. Herman United Methodist Church in Graham officiated by Rev. Keith Porter, Rev. Rick Moser, Dr. Alan Swartz and Rev. Thomas Cox.  Burial will follow at Mt. Herman UMC Cemetery.  The family will receive friends from 6 to 9p.m. on Monday, February 3rd at Walker’s Funeral Home of Mebane. 

The family would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Hertwick and the staff of Hospice of Greensboro, Dr. Graham Duncan and the staff at LeBauer Stoney Creek and Dr. Michael Blazing and his staff at Duke University. 

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