Wade Durham Jr. aka "Tom" was born to Wade Durham Sr. and Maude Herring Durham at his family home on November 15,1935 in Mt. Olive, NC. He was the oldest of 12 children affectionately referred to as "The Dirty Dozen." There on his parent's farm, he developed the capacity and appreciation for hard work which would define him for the rest of his life. Raised in a strict Christian home, he joined Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church early in life where he would later become a deacon and Sunday School teacher.
He attended Shady Grove School as a boy and later Carver High School where he joined the band and was elected class president. Following high school, Wade enrolled at NC A&T State University where he majored in Agricultural Science.
After attending NC A&T, Wade enrolled in the US Army and was stationed at Ft. Bragg as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division where he achieved the rank of Sergeant.
During his time in the Army, his sister Geraldine introduced him to her roommate, a teacher named Gerladine Jacobs. A romance blossomed and after some time the two were married and settled in Mt. Olive. NC where they would have 2 children, Wade III, and Robyn Maudette, (deceased).
He loved cars and grew up in the golden age of Hot Rods. His love for engines led him to start his own trucking business. He loved the freedom of the open road and travelled to every state. He worked incredibly hard, but he loved his work which he did until his vision deteriorated and he was forced to stop interstate traveling.
Upon retiring, Wade could be found at Durham Lake hosting a fishing tournament or holding court inside the bait shop. Colorful conversations about Trucks, Hot Rods and dispensing wisdom to youngsters facing life's challenges dominated the subject matter. His colorful sense of humor and propensity to speak his mind were omnipresent.
He is survived by his son, Wade Durham III (Johanna Boberg), grandchildren, Nile Harvey, Kaya Harvey and Skye Durham, siblings, Geraldine Williamson (Alfonza), Jaquelyn Barnes (James), Shirley Bennett (Kenneth), Joseph Durham and Donald Durham and a host of nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.
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