Thomas “Tommy” Yarborough, Jr. of Greenwood passed away in the loving arms of his youngest brother, surrounded by family after succumbing to COPD on Sunday evening, Dec. 5, 2021. Compassionate Care Hospice provided at-home support during his month’s long illness.

Tommy was born on April 23, 1934, son of the late Thomas Yarborough and Dorothy (Alston) Yarborough in Nashville, North Carolina. He was the second oldest of 11 siblings. He often had the family laughing about the stories of how challenging it was being the only boy at home with so many sisters. His two brothers were not born until after he left home. Thomas was educated at Nash County School. At an early age he gave his life to the Lord, was baptized, and later left North Carolina and moved to Bridgeville where he worked various jobs until he found his niche at Cannon Foods, Inc. During this time, he was introduced to his soulmate Louise Cannon at the Bridgeville theatre. After a year of courtship, they were married, and soon thereafter moved to Fort Gordon, Georgia after he was drafted into the Army.

Upon completion of his military service in 1957, Tommy returned to Bridgeville with his wife and newborn son where he resumed his employment at Cannon Foods. With a collection of hard backs from Popular Mechanics, electrical correspondent courses from Coyne College in Chicago, his GED and continuous professional development he worked his way up from apprentice to Master Technician, then ultimately to Director of Planning, the position he held until the plant’s closure in 1981. He then went to work for Shoreman Food Technologies (Kraft Foods) in Federalsburg as a Maintenance Supervisor until his retirement in 2001.

Tommy was very industrious, loved to work, and worked hard at it. He taught family if you love the job you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. His key rule was to just show up – on time preferably! He was the ultimate problem solver. He said if he didn’t have a tool to fix something, he’d make one, and he often did. The most important tool he created was the home he built for his wife and beautiful family.

Tommy was a family man, but his earnest care extended further, into his community. Tommy was invited into the Industrial Arts classroom in his hometown of Bridgeville to speak to and inspire all youth to pursue mechanical and electrical trades. Albert Weal, an old family friend stated, Mr. Yarborough “is a hero to all the Black youth of our time. He was the only certified Black electrician we knew in Bridgeville and possibly all of Sussex County.” Tommy enjoyed fixing electrical malfunctions for an endless list of little ole ladies for which he’d often take a meal in lieu of pay. In addition to bringing his own family together every five years for family reunions beginning in 1980, he brought neighborhood families together through the Community Club they organized in Forest Green in the late 60s. For many springs and summers, they would gather at his home to roast a hog over a fresh built fire pit.

Tommy brought his children up making seasonal road trips to Newark, New Jersey to visit his parents and siblings, and to Rocky Mount, North Carolina to see his grandmother, aunts and uncles. In 1974 he moved his parents back to the country onto his property in Greenwood to have them closer to him in their later years. He loved to be outdoors, hence, his great affinity for gardening. Tommy always had a productive garden of fruits and vegetables; skills learned working with his dad who was once a sharecropper down south. He always had a few hobbies and projects he was working on; Tommy often tried his hand at making wine from his grape vines. He was very successful…albeit successful at making both wine and vinegar. In his later years, he’d always use the monetary gift from Immanuel to make improvements on his property.

He did this to make the next gathering better when Immanuel House of Praise’s congregation gathered for their annual summer picnic at his home. Tommy always filled his home with music, giving his family an appreciation of country, rhythm and blues, jazz, and on Sundays, gospel. He always said he just likes the music, but as Troy Lee put it, we all know he was an undercover Jesus freak.

Tommy, also affectionately known as “June”, is survived by his faithful wife of 65 years, time well spent building a marriage with Louise Cannon Yarborough of Bridgeville. He leaves to mourn his passing four children, Troy Lee Yarborough of North Charleston, SC, Thomas Yarborough, III (Kimmie), Nikki Hill, Yolanda Eileen Hutson (Skip) all of Greenwood; eight grandchildren, Thomas Yarborough, IV of Sierra Vista, AZ, Keyana Hill of Denton, Jerome Alan Hutson, II and Joseph Thomas Hutson both of West Chester, PA, Jeffon Hill of Bridgeville, Jere’ Louise Hutson of Greenwood, Yasmine Hill of Dover, Indya Rene Yarborough of Tulsa, OK, Jasmine and Ka’mari Yarborough both of Arizona, McKenzie Hill of Denton, Memory Hill and Razayah Pickett both of Seaford; eight brothers and sisters, Wyomia Matthews of Seaford, Lois Sapp of Hillside, NJ, Alice Yarborough of Wilmington, Bessie Mae Christian of Millsboro, Mary LaFranque of Newark, NJ, Martha Moore of Easton, PA, Vincent Yarborough of Felton and Charles Yarborough of Monroe Township, NJ. He is also survived by two living aunts, Lauree Jones (Larry-deceased) of Rocky Mount, NC, and Olive “Puddin” Alston (Willis-deceased) of Seaford; many wonderful nieces, nephews, cousins, a special cousin, Betty Jean Wright (Keith) of Seaford; and a band of Bridgeville brothers from the Breakfast Club, neighbors and friends.

Of those Tommy loved, he was preceded in death by his forementioned parents; two sisters, Aileen and Dorethea (Minnie) Stephens (Steve–also deceased), five other brothers-in-law, Harold Matthews, Freddy Moore, Moses Sapp, Chris Christian, and Leander Orbin LeFranque, six Alston aunts and uncles and sixteen Yarborough aunts and uncles and a special cousin, Bill Alston (Moe).

Memorial Services were held on Friday, Dec. 17 at Immanuel House of Praise Church, 23094 Atlanta Road, Seaford, where Pastor Carlton E. Bowers, Jr. conducted the ceremony and eulogy.

All donations can be mailed to Tommy’s wife, Mrs. Louise C. Yarborough, 14894 Adams Road, Greenwood, Delaware 19950.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Parsell Funeral Homes and Crematorium, Hardesty Chapel, Bridgeville, DE.

Please visit Tommy’s Life Memorial Webpage and sign his virtual guestbook at