Thomas Bartlett Huber of New Castle, Delaware, age 78, gradually succumbed to metastatic lung cancer and passed away in peace on Monday morning March 11, 2019 in the company of Mildred, his best friend of over 50 years and his caregiver. Tom was born in Charleston, SC to Lawrence J. Huber and Marian R. Huber (Lung) on May 4, 1940. After WWII the family relocated to Wilmington where Tom grew up and lived most of his life. After graduating from Conrad High School in 1958 and trying his hand at a few different jobs in the area he relocated to New York City. By the mid-60s he had enough of big city life and moved back to Delaware and within a few years applied his hand, heart and soul into building his successful appliance repair businesses; Suburban Appliance Repair and Emergency Refrigeration and Appliance Repair, which he operated full-time well into his 70s, some 45 years.
It was not surprising that Tom ended up owning and operating his own businesses. Beginning in the late 40s he embarked into an impressive list of occupations including; roadside fruit and vegetable stand operator, huckster assistant, newspaper carrier, supermarket checker, manufacturing and construction worker, magazine salesman, landscaper, pool hall manager, messenger and short order cook. In one way or another all of these experiences prepared Tom for three very key ingredients to a successful business with satisfied customers: accuracy, honesty and friendliness. Most of Toms business came from repeat customers and word of mouth referrals.
While business was Toms occupation his calling was his devotion to the Lord which was expressed in many ways. He became a valued 40-plus year member, leader and devoted trustee of the Wilmington Primitive Baptist Church and until a month ago made Saturday night trips to the church to start the heat for the next days worship services. Tom possessed an inquisitive mind and over many years delved into diverse theological study which truly took a hold of him. He read the Bible through many times and credited his personal transformation to the miracle of meeting God in the pages of the Bible. He acquired many books and commentaries along the way and published a Biblical essay himself. Not surprisingly, after he closed his business he opened launched a mini-business on Amazon.com selling many items from his bookshelf, some collectors pieces.
Tom was gifted with a sharp mind and had an uncanny ability to deal with details, especially numbers. When questions arose and many people struggled with papers, pencils and erasers, Tom did mental math and answered first. He excelled at chess and billiards, often earning a dollar of two or a trophy in pool table challenges. Over the years Tom and his close friend Reggie enjoyed many hours together at the club house or senior center engaged in these and other activities.
Tom was predeceased by his parents and his daughter Barbara Walton. Survivors include Mildred Shippen of New Castle, daughter Diane Middleton (Reggie) of Orangeburg, SC, granddaughter Neka Suddeth (Richard) of Thomaston, GA, four great-grandchildren, brother John Huber (Joyce) of Newark, sister Nancy Dutkin (Peter) of Pittsfield, ME, an uncle, aunts, nieces, nephews and beloved cousins from Florida to Saskatchewan.
Services will be held at the Wilmington Primitive Baptist Church, 2911 North Van Buren Street, Wilmington, Delaware on Tuesday, March 19. Family visitation and viewing begins at 10 a.m. and the funeral service at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Gracelawn Cemetery in New Castle. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to either the church or Seasons Hospice, especially his hospice nurse Tawana Wilson, who provided Tom with compassionate care during his illness.