Thomas Jerome Wilborn, Pastor, Father, Foodie, Comedic Genius, and Friend, died on Sunday, October 25, 2015.
Tommy was a man about God.
Born on May 17, 1955 to blue eyed Beauty, Carolyn Alice Lies, he lived and breathed the Catholic life amongst his many cousins in the Colwich and Wichita area. As is the case with many only children struggling to prove their grit, Tommy was quick to throw a punch, light on his feet when defeat was imminent, and could sweet talk a fish out of water if his opponent caught up to him. He was extremely athletic, thoroughly enjoyed playing baseball and bowling, and seemed to have a knack for any sport that he just happened to stumble upon. From an early age, Tommy was taught to appreciate good food, and if good food was unavailable, he had no qualms with sneaking out to the local ice cream parlor for a soft serve treat.
At 12 years old, he was adopted by his Beautiful Mother's new Husband, a debonair man by the name of Harold Wilborn, and the family continued to make south-central Kansas their home until the early 1970's, at which time they relocated to Lakewood, Colorado. Tom settled in quite nicely at Bear Creek High School, dragging Main with his Best Friend Rex, setting (and maintaining to this day) records in various sports, and ultimately meeting his first wife, and the mother of his two oldest sons, Debbie Johnson. Upon graduation, Tom joined the United States Marine Corps, attended basic training at Camp Pendleton in Southern California, and served as a forecast analyst until his honorable discharge 4 years later. Unfortunate circumstances led to the dissolution of his first marriage, and Tom moved back to Kansas to be close to his extended family. Working as a substance abuse counselor and dabbling in the restaurant business, he eventually met his second wife, Maureen Casey, with whom he shared 21 years of marriage and three additional children, two girls and one boy. The family moved to Byers, Colorado to be closer to Tom's parents, and the restaurant dabble turned into a full fledged career, consulting and opening various restaurants in the High Plains area. As the children grew, and shortly after the untimely death of his Mother in 2005, Tommy found himself a single man and yet again, was drawn back to his close knit family in Wichita, KS.
It was the culmination of a new career field, his recent divorce, and personal struggles that he started seeking a stronger relationship with Christ, a relationship that flourished in the Methodist Family and drove him to seek a life devoted to God. He began his journey towards becoming a religious leader at the United Methodist Church at Park City under the guidance of Pastor Rob Schmutz, and was soon given the opportunity to lead a Congregation of fellow Jesus Lovers in the quaint and great town of Curtis, Nebraska. Tom was proud of his new family, and felt an immediate and sincere love for every one of his parishioners. He was honored to assist them on their walk in Faith and he looked forward to many happy years in this corn husker community.
Tommy was a Grandpa to six young children at the time of his passing. Caleb, Delaynie, Dalton, Hailey, Jackson, and Owen meant the world to him. He was responsible for the first tickle and the very first piece of brisket for at least two of these kiddos, neither of which have or will be forgotten. His lap was perfect for Grandpa snuggles, his laugh infectious, and he had the uncanny ability to rule against his children by spoiling his Grandbabies with whatever their hearts desired (most recently his daughter vacuumed out 8 pounds of chocolate coins from her vehicle after a Papa trip to the candy store). If there was nothing more that I could stress in this tribute to him, I would like you to understand how wonderful he was with them and how strong their mutual love was. He was born to be a great Papa. Of course, he was an excellent Father and the memories for his children are infinite and priceless, but the way he loved his Grandchildren would take your breath away.
Tommy loved everyone he met. He was genuine in his words and found the beauty some overlooked. It didn't matter your appearance, your career, religion, or creed. He was truly happy to see you and felt blessed to have known you.
Tom's death was swift and unexpected. He drew his last breath while spreading the Word of God at his church in Curtis. He was surrounded by the Love of his Brothers and Sisters in Christ, and we can take comfort knowing that he was with Jesus for the entire experience.
He is survived by all five of his children; Wayland (CO), Brandon (AZ), Whitney (KS), Taylor (TX), and Bronson (MS) and all six (nearly seven) of his grandchildren; Caleb, Delaynie, Dalton, Hailey, Jackson, and Owen (Baby Nearly 7 is due to arrive shortly before Tom's birthday). He is also survived by his father, Harold. He is predeceased by his mother, Carolyn.
Due to his magnetic personality (and geographical location) there will be two services held. One in Curtis, NE on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015 at 3 pm (viewing to begin at 1), at the United Methodist Church and one in Wichita, KS on Friday, time to be announced. Tom will be laid to rest at the National Veterans Cemetery in Winfield, KS.
Memorials are suggested to the Wilborn family to be designated later.