Elvin Terrell Tatum, Jr., 66 of Raeford, passed away Wednesday, December 14, 2022.
Born in Cumberland County, Elvin was the son of Dorothy Trogdan and the late Elvin Terrell Tatum, Sr.
He is survived by his wife, Deborah Tatum; daughter, Rebecca Tatum; son, Elvin Terrell Tatum, III and wife Janie; grandchildren, Juelz Bartholomew, Carmyn Bartholomew, and Everlie Tatum; sisters, Teresa Tatum, Faith Tuttle and husband Robert; brother, James Tatum; and six nephews.
Elvin was a loving family man and a wonderful friend. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
Celebration of Life
Elvin Terrell Tatum, Jr. (also lovingly known as Terry, E.T., dad, and grandpa) was born on April 7, 1956. Born in Cumberland County, Terry was the son of Dorothy Trogdan and Elvin Terrell Tatum, Sr. He attended school in Cumberland County, graduated from South View High School in 1974, and then attended Nashville Auto Diesel College in Tennessee. After graduating, he returned home and was introduced by a friend to Deborah Anderson (Debbie) who would soon become his loving wife. They were married on December 23, 1978. Terry and Debbie had two children: Rebecca, born 1982, and Elvin Terrell, III (Trey), born 1984. Terry supported his family by working almost 40 years at Kelly Springfield/Goodyear Tire Company until he retired in 2018. He was also a long-standing member of the Rockfish Volunteer Fire Department.
Terry, ever hard-working and kind-hearted, would do anything to help a friend or stranger. Always ready with a quick-witted comment, he had a sense of humor that was his own and loved telling stories (repeated multiple times) about his family, pets, memories of childhood, and his experiences at work with some interesting coworkers. He would also tend to break out into singing every word of 70’s classic rock music (which to him was the best music ever made). He was proud of his antique collection, particularly of his many Luzianne Coffee cans, old tools, and glass bottles, as well as his mother’s project of turning an old satellite dish into a gazebo. He would regale anyone who was patient enough to wait for him to scroll through his flip phone with pictures of these. He enjoyed working in the yard with his dogs, gardening, mowing grass, driving his tractor, piddling in the garage, and collecting “junk” and scrap metal on the side of the road and at yard sales. He very much enjoyed talking to friends and family and would also shoot the breeze at the fire station.
His creativity and skill with craftmanship were clear with his many projects that he would make for his family. He always showed his love through his actions. From lovingly making his children hand-built desks to making his sisters bottle trees, he expressed what he felt even though he might not have been able to say it out loud.
He loved his family very much. He was the oldest in his family growing up with his sister Teresa, brother James, and youngest sister Faith and loved them very much. He deeply loved how supportive and caring his wife Debbie was. Married for 44 years and lovingly enjoyed saying that he started turning grey on December 23, 1978. He was so proud of his children and would always tell stories about them, like how his daughter when she was a toddler ate spaghetti at a restaurant and got it everywhere except in her mouth and how his son Trey delivered a baby by himself on an emergency medical call. He enjoyed antique hunting with this daughter-in-law Janie, tinkering in the garage with his grandson Juelz, being covered in pillows by his granddaughter Carmyn when he fell asleep when he was babysitting her, and being bounced on by his infant granddaughter Everlie.
He has had such an impact on all of our lives and his presence will always be missed.