Rev. Thomas Benson Deese, 98, passed away November 3, 2011, after a period of declining health at Hospice of Rutherford County, Forest City, NC. He was born in Union County, NC on March 9, 1913 and was the son of the late William Thomas Deese and Sarah Ann Webb Deese. Rev. Deese, a retired Southern Baptist minister, pastored churches in Anson, Burke, Cabarrus, Columbus, Duplin, McDowell, Mecklenburg and Rutherford counties and was a member of Macedonia Baptist Church.In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Virginia Taylor Deese, his brothers, William and Curtis; son-in-law, Wayne Bridges, and grandson, Kevin Bridges.Rev. Deese is survived by his second wife, Novella Rumfelt Deese; brother, Charlie S. Deese of Monroe, NC; his children, LaVaughn Barbee and husband, Jim, of Pensacola, FL; Joyce Bridges Hill and husband, Jim, of Rutherfordton and Tom Deese of Winston-Salem. Also surviving are three step-children, Linda Mode, Judy Korpal, Kenny Culbreth and three grandchildren; three great grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren.Visitation will be at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, November 6 prior to the service at 3:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center. Rev. Steven Painter and Layman Jim Hope will be officiating. Music will be presented by Bobby Bridges. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park.Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Rutherford County, 372 Hudlow Road, Forest City, NC 28043.

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