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Thomas Lafayette Pace

Thomas Lafayette Pace died on Nov. 26, 2019 in his home in the Johns Community, Rankin County after being a warrior to life against Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) There will be a Celebration of Life Service for family and friends held at Crossgates United Methodist Church on Dec. 21, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. Tom attended Johns Elementary and Puckett High School where he was Valedictorian of his graduating class. He graduated from Mississippi State University in Mechanical Engineering in 1961 and moved to Natchez to work as a plant engineer. He married Carolyn Lafaye Myers of Pelahatchie in June 1962. Tom and Faye moved to Oklahoma in 1964 to attend seminary at Phillips University where he graduated in 1968. After seminary he served United Methodist Churches in Oklahoma and Iowa before returning to Mississippi in 1972. He served at Capital Street in Jackson, Decell Memorial and Copiah-Lincoln Junior College Wesley Foundation in Wesson, University of Southern Mississippi Wesley Foundation and Soule’s Chapel in Hattiesburg, Crystal Springs United Methodist Church and Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church in Crystal Springs from 1984 until 1988, First United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, First United Methodist Church in Picayune, First United Methodist Church in Cleveland, Merigold, and Broadmeadow United Methodist Church and Leavell Woods United Methodist Church in Jackson. Rev. Pace retired after 43 years serving the church. People knew Tom as a compassionate pastor who visited the sick and cared for the poor. He was a truth-teller who never shied from conflict. He was an engineer who repaired antique cars and built homes. He was a joke teller who loved to laugh and he was the spiritual leader of his extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents, Wiley and Jocyphine Prestage Pace; brothers, J. W., Billy Ray, Jim, and Bobby Pace; sister, Myrtle Sanders Mills; brothers-in-law, Kermit Sanders, Noah Mills and Elton Moore and sister-in-law, Donna Pace. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Faye Pace; son, Ken; daughter, Kimberly (David Furse); grandsons, Brent and Andrew; sister, Louise Moore; sisters-in-law, Ina-V, Pat and Joyce Pace; dachshunds Rocket and Dynamite; 28 great-nieces and great-nephews, and many cousins. Instead of flowers, the family requests that you remember Tom by supporting a ministry at Crossgates United Methodist Church or a charity of choice, and in Tom’s words, “Try to love someone different from you. God’s love is unconditional and accepts everyone.”

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