COLUMBIA -- W. Thomas (Tom) Vernon went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009. Born in Aiken, Tom was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. William Edward Vernon. He was a graduate of Davidson College and obtained a Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1975. Tom was licensed to practice law in the states of South Carolina and Georgia and admitted to practice before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. A tenacious litigator and tireless advocate for his clients, Tom was highly respected by both the Bench and Bar. Tom was a devout Christian and a faithful member of Trinity Cathedral for more than 25 years, where he served as the canon for administration on the staff of Trinity Cathedral and provided key leadership in the building of the Trinity Center for Mission and Ministry from 2002-07. During his early years at Trinity, Tom served as a youth ministry leader and within the Cathedral's outreach ministries. Most recently, he served as a Eucharistic minister to the sick and homebound, as well as within the Sunday morning worship services. Tom is survived by his former spouse, Vickie Cox Vernon, and his stepsons, Robert Brian Schrimpf and William Matthew Schrimpf, all of Columbia. Tom is also survived by his aunt, Louise Hamby of Black Mountain, N.C., and an uncle, Paul Vernon of Chadsford, Pa. Tom leaves behind two faithful companions, "Buddy" and "Boo" and many close friends and Christian brothers who will all miss him dearly. A celebration of Tom's life will be held at Trinity Cathedral within the Trinity Center on Friday, Jan. 23, 2009, at 2 p.m. The Very Rev. Dr. Philip C. Linder and the Rev. Robert Riegel will officiate. Immediately following the ceremony friends are invited to gather at the Summit Club to remember and celebrate the life of Tom Vernon. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Trinity Cathedral Building Fund, 1100 Sumter St., Columbia, SC 29201. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is in charge.