Thomas H. ‘Tommy’ Parham

Thomas H. ‘Tommy’ Parham

Thomas H. “Tommy” Parham, 88, of Paducah, and formerly of Cairo, died at 4 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, at the Ray and Kay Eckstein Hospice Care Center in Paducah.

Mr. Parham was born on June 3, 1932, in Wickliffe, Ky., the son of Thomas Avery Parham and Georgia Harris Parham. 

He married Emma Jean Lang, who survives.

Mr. Parham was born and raised in Wickliffe, Ky. He served in the U.S. Army and in the U.S. Air Force in the Electric Maintenance Squadron. 

He was a member of Tigert Methodist Church in Cairo, where he drove the church bus. 

He was an ace mechanic, fixing everyone’s car. He worked at Parham’s Garage in Wickliffe and then acquired his own business in Urbandale. He later worked for Falconite Crane when  they were in Cairo.

He is survived by his wife, Emma Jean Lang Parham, of Paducah; a daughter, Catherine Parham Smith and husband Gary Smith of Corbin, Ky.; a son, James Parham of Walker, La.; stepsons Billy Thistlewood and wife Phyllis Thistlewood of Paducah and Larry Thistlewood and wife Dorothy Thistlewood of Paducah; grandchildren Brian Smith and wife Jennifer Smith of Portland, Tenn., Daniel Smith of Portland, Tenn., Merrell Parham Borne and husband Trampus Borne of Walker, La., and Thomas “Tommy” J. Parham of Walker, La.; step-grandchildren Kaelin Thistlewood and wife Brittany of Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala., and Tia Thistlewood Wheatley and husband Bryan Wheatley of Los Angeles, Calif.; great-grandchildren, Sadie Smith, Hunter Borne, Addison Borne and Gabrielle Borne of Walker, La.; a step-great-grandchild, Brayden Thistlewood of Montgomery, Ala.; siblings Milo Parham of Gage, Ky., Ruth Ann Parham-Blanks and husband Jimmy Blanks of Wickliffe, Ky., Shirley Parham of Wickliffe, Ky., and Martha Parham of Thebes; cousins, in-laws, nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Mr. Parham was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Avery Parham and Georgia Harris Parham; his stepmother, Frances Parham; a brother, Max Parham; and a daughter-in-law, Tracey Parham.

Funeral services were at noon Wednesday, Oct. 7, at Crain Funeral Home in Cairo, with Jerry Williams officiating. Interment was in Mound City National Cemetery, with military honors provided by the U.S. Air Force burial team and local veterans.

Crain Funeral Home in Cairo was in charge of arrangements.

To view the full obituary or to leave an online condolence for the family, visit



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