Thomas L. VanMiddlesworth

-AUG. 13, 2013

August 15, 2013
  • VanMiddlesworth

Thomas "Tom" Leo VanMiddlesworth passed away peacefully Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, after bravely fighting neck cancer for 2 1/2 years.

He was formerly of Martinsburg, W.Va., where he graduated from high school in 1970.

Tom worked at Plummer's Appliance & Boat Motors in Martinsburg, where Mr. Plummer was Tom's mentor. Next, he worked at Schmidt Bakery, where he was a mechanic.

Tom went to Shepherd College, and earned his bachelor's degree in business management at Marshall University. He used that knowledge to assist the long-term mentally ill to manage their budgets in small group homes.

Tom ran the Corporate Cookie in Los Angeles, Calif., and ran a deli in the Prestera Mental Health Center in Huntington, W.Va. Later in life, Tom established his own successful home improvement company in Rockville, Md.

He was active in his community, serving as an altar boy, coaching youth soccer, regularly donating blood to the American Red Cross until he became ill, feeding the homeless and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.

He was a member of the Potomac Fish and Game Club in Williamsport, Md.

Tom was born in Washington, D.C. He went to school in Blue Ridge Summit, Waynesboro, Greencastle and State Line, Pa. He also attended school in Indian Head, Md., and then Martinsburg. Work took him from West Virginia to Richmond, Ky., Los Angeles and Rockville.

Kindness to others was high on Tom's character list. He felt a passion for helping others through his jobs and daily life.

Tom was preceded in death by his mother, Teresa Fitz VanMiddlesworth; father, Charles "Van" VanMiddlesworth; niece, Summer Castleman; and nephew, Daveion Gates.

He married his soulmate, Cora Linder, in 1975. On July 12, 2013, they celebrated their 37th anniversary by going to Great Falls, Md. Other anniversary trips took them to Hawaii, Ireland, England, France, Italy, Greece and Niagara Falls.

He is survived by his sisters, Teri Maykrantz of Sterling, Va., Laura Kretzer of Inwood, W.Va., Honore "Honey" Rothstein of Martinsburg, Mary "Maize" Hazel Urias of Winnsboro, S.C., and Patricia "Pat" Marsteller of Atlanta, Ga.; and his brothers, Michael "Mike" VanMiddlesworth of Jacksonville, Fla., James "Jim" VanMiddlesworth, Charles "Charlie" VanMiddlesworth and David "Dave" VanMiddlesworth, all of Martinsburg, and John VanMiddlesworth of Gulf Breeze, Fla. Tom has 18 nieces and nephews throughout the United States, Ireland and Canada. Additionally, 18 great-nieces and great-nephews, and six great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews are in the family. His dogs, Frisbee and Jersey, reside in Rockville with his wife, Cora.

Friends and family are invited to attend a memorial service Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at 2 p.m. at Rosedale Cemetery Chapel, 917 Cemetery Road, Martinsburg.

There will also be a memorial visitation Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Pumphrey Colonial Funeral Home, 300 W. Montgomery Ave., Rockville. Family and friends are encouraged to sign the family guest book online at

His ashes are to be scattered into the ocean, as was his request.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Habitat for Humanity or the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Baltimore, Md.

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