Thomas Skinner Brothers

Published 8:53 pm Thursday, April 4, 2019

Thomas Skinner Brothers, 77, died on April 4, 2019, after a long illness. Born to the late Reginald Edward and Lucy Kittrell Brothers on April 16, 1941, he died in the home where he was reared. He was also predeceased by his older brother, Reginald Jr.

Tom attended public schools in Suffolk and graduated from Suffolk High School, where he was co-captain of the Red Raiders football team his senior year. After attending Augusta Military Academy for a year, he went to Virginia Military Institute. Soon he returned to Suffolk to join his father in Reginald E. Brothers Co.

He was married for 57 years to his high school sweetheart, Betsy, whose loving care made it possible for his last days to be spent at home.

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Tom was a hardworking man who, in spite of his strong work ethic, was always ready to enjoy a joke — especially his old favorites — or a meal with friends in Suffolk or Nags Head. So many of these friends he had known his whole life. For years he and Betsy hosted a Christmas party for children where Tom was the Spirit of Christmas dressed as Santa, a funny Santa. As long as health permitted, he enjoyed tending a garden and then helping Betsy with pickling and canning.

Tom was a lifelong member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where he was baptized on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7, 1941, and later served on the vestry. He frequently cooked for church functions. At the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, he often cooked his own homemade sausage, smoked in his backyard smokehouse. Tom was a member of Suffolk Elks Lodge No. 685.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Betsy, and his precious daughter, Elizabeth Brothers Dolan, of Suffolk, and his dear granddaughter, Elizabeth Bartlett Dolan, of Washington, D.C. Also surviving are his sister, Joan Kittrell Vinson, and her husband, Robert, of Wichita Falls, Texas, and Nags Head; and his special nieces and nephews Rob, Loring, Kit, Luelen, Joe, Jim, Katrine, Lee, Tina and Thad. Tom is also survived by his devoted little dog, Lucy.

A service celebrating Tom’s life will be conducted at 3 p.m. Monday, April 8, 2019, at St Paul’s Episcopal Church, 213 N. Main St., Suffolk, VA 23434, by the Very Rev. Dr. Keith Emerson. Burial will be private in Cedar Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 7, 2019, in the R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory, 509 W. Washington St., Suffolk. The family is grateful to Lisa White, to special caregivers, and to Compassionate Care Hospice for their faithful help with Tom’s care. Memorials may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church or to the Suffolk Center for the Cultural Arts, 110 W. Finney Ave., Suffolk, VA 23434. Condolences may be registered at