We lost a hero today. Command Sergeant Major James H. “Tom” Parham, 88, of Kinston passed away on Tuesday, April 4, 2023 at his home, surrounded by his loving family. Tom was born in Durham, North Carolina to the late James Hamilton Parham and Lola Edwards Parham. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his bride of 58 years Christine Parham, sister Brenda Bunting and brother Dick Parham. Survivors include daughters Alice Parham Bunn of Kinston and Tamara Parham of Emerald Isle; granddaughters Kristen Marie Bunn and Kathryn Courtney Bunn, both of Kinston; adopted daughter Donna Privette of Emerald Isle; sister, Elizabeth Clay of Rocky Mount, and brother, Robert Parham of Summerville, SC.
Tom Parham loved and served God, his family and his country. He was a devoted father, Papa, brother and friend. He was a kind, gentle man with a pure heart.
CSM Parham served 42 years in the North Carolina Army National Guard. He received the North Carolina Distinguished Service Medal in 1992 and was named Guardsman of the Year in 1971. Parham’s unit, 690th Maintenance Battalion, received the coveted Walter T. Kerwin Readiness Award presented to the most outstanding National Guard battalion in the nation. He was a member of the NCNG Rifle Team and was high scorer when the team won the Edgar L. Smoak Jr Trophy Match. He was also a member of the 45-caliber pistol team, and the 30-caliber machine gun team. CSM Parham served in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Urgent Fury and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Tom was a member and former Deacon at Deep Run First Baptist Church.
Services will be held on Good Friday, April 7, 2023. Visitation will begin at 11:00 a.m. at Howard Carter Funeral Home. Service will follow at 12:00 p.m. with Pastor Dave Fishman officiating. Burial with full military honors will be held at Westview Cemetery immediately following the funeral service.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his honor payable to the Youth Fund at Deep Run First Baptist Church, PO Box 67, Deep Run, NC 28525.