Obituary of Tom E. Heston
Thomas Eber Heston, 86 years old, of Pleasant Valley, Fairmont, West Virginia passed away on December 17, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. Tom was born at home the eighth of eleven children in 1937 to Bert R. and Josephine (Clark) Heston in Fairmont, WV. When he was three years old, Tom’s mother unexpectedly passed, leaving Bert no choice but to seek help raising his large family relying on Tom’s grandmother Lillian (“Mom Clark”) and two uncles Carl and Herschel to step in and raise him. Some of his fondest memories were from his childhood spent with Mom Clark and his uncles, surrounded by his nearby brothers, sisters, and father. He was the last survivor from a family of 11 children. In addition to his parents, grandmother, and uncles, he was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Ruth Ann (Frame) Heston in February, 2023. He was also preceded in death by two sons: Frederick A. (1992) and David (2020); brothers and their spouses: Fredrick C. (Opal), John (Mary Louise), Robert, Michael A. (Shirley), Daniel (Katharine), Samuel (in infancy) and Patrick Heston; sisters and their spouses: Edna Jo (Joe) Closson, Alberta (Frank) Conley and Naomi Heston (in infancy). Left to continue his legacy are his son, Thomas Eugene (Susie) Heston and daughter, Roxanne (Don) Loughery; grandchildren: Duaine (Jane) Heston, Brandon (John) Loughery and Brittney (Nathan) Tatterson; great-grandchildren: Davy, Danny, Elly and Aubrey Heston and Conner and Hattie Tatterson; brother-in-law, Eugene (Jake) Frame and sister-in-law, Rose Stutler Heston; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Tom retired from Heston’s Repair Center where he was co-owner with his son, David, selling and repairing Honda Power Equipment and other small engines. He was a welder and fabricator by trade and retired from M.A. Heston, Inc. where he worked in mining construction. He was previously employed by C.W. Stickley and Walter Stonestreet and often reflected upon his former employers and those years of employment fondly. He was a founding member, and served as treasurer, on the council for the City of Pleasant Valley. He also served on the Marion County Solid Waste Authority Board and was instrumental in the procurement and placement of recycling containers throughout Marion County. Tom completed his elementary education at State Street School and enjoyed attending the yearly all-class reunions. He was a 1957 graduate of East Fairmont High School and enjoyed attending the reunions for classes of 1955, ’56, ’57 and ’58. He also completed a radio repair certification mail course after completing high school. He enjoyed repairing radios and would stay up into the late hours listening to radio stations broadcasts from around the world. An avid hobbyist, one of his core passions was riding motorcycles and restoring antique automobiles. He purchased his last scooter for his 70th birthday and in the last several years he built a wooden tiller-bar buggy, powered by a Maytag washing machine engine – he could make anything run. Tom enjoyed nothing more than seeing the country via a tour in his antique cars. His wife, Ruth, often accompanied him dressed in period costume. Tom and Ruth were both members of the Antique Automobile Club of America and looked forward to participating in parades and displaying their cars in local and regional car shows. Both Tom and Ruth were members of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles and Moose Lodge in Fairmont and collected a wide variety of friends, from politicians and musicians to ‘characters’, along the way. Tom and his friends enjoyed each other's company in his garage or shop where they may be found planning a tour, designing a project, cooking a meal, or just enjoying conversation and each other’s company around a fire in his coal stove. Goodbyes were usually said around 11 pm on weeknights when Ruth would whistle for him to come to the house. Tom and Ruth enjoyed hosting large and small gatherings in their historic home. Starting with family Christmas parties in the early 1960’s where there was plenty of food and laughter and a visit from Santa (played brilliantly by Tom’s brother Danny) for the children. He was a “foodie” and enjoyed researching recipes and then ‘concocting’ his own version of the recipe - sometimes muttering that he should have followed the recipe. There were large picnics for Tom and Ruth’s antique car club where their field would be full of antique cars and corn on the cob and beans cooked in kettle pots over open wood fires. Local musicians provided entertainment, accepting a meal as payment. He was a teacher by nature and enjoyed sharing his knowledge and skill set with others. He always had a project in the works and days before his death he claimed that he still had projects to complete. He enjoyed designing and completing his various projects with his sons, friends, and other relatives. Flowers are welcome, or memorial donations may be made to East Fairmont High School Foundation, 1993 Airport Road, Fairmont, WV 26554. The family has entrusted the arrangements to Ford Funeral Home, 201 Columbia Street, Fairmont, WV. Friends and family are welcome to visit from 4:00 to 8:00 PM on Tuesday, December 19, 2023 and from 10:00 to 11:00 AM on December 20, 2023. The service will be held at 11:00 AM with Tom’s friend and neighbor, the Reverend Jim Zinn officiating. Interment will follow at the Mt. Zion Cemetery and Mausoleum. Online condolences may be made to www.fordfuneralhomes.com.