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Judge Thomas "Tom" Jarrell Jr.

August 4, 2019


The Honorable [Judge] Harold Thomas Jarrell Jr., 56, passed away on Saturday, August 3, 2019 at his residence in High Point, North Carolina.

Tom was born on August 13, 1962, in High Point to Dr. Harold Thomas Jarrell Sr. and Mary Long Jarrell. He is survived by his wife of twenty-seven years, Cynthia Roberson Jarrell, formerly of Raleigh, North Carolina; his mother, former State Representative Mary Long Jarrell; sons, Harold Thomas Jarrell III, Robert K. Jarrell, and David P. Jarrell; and sister, Jennie Jarrell Hayman (husband Wilson). He was preceded in death by his father, Dr. Harold Thomas Jarrell Sr.

Judge Jarrell was a graduate of High Point Central High School, Class of 1981. He received his B.A. in political science from Guilford College in 1985, where he served as Student Body President and a member of the Board of Trustees.  Tom obtained his Juris Doctorate degree from Campbell University School of Law in 1991.

He first practiced law in High Point with his uncle, Charles (“Chick”) R. Jarrell, and in 1992 was hired as an assistant district attorney, handling traffic and criminal matters in High Point. Tom was appointed by Governor Jim Hunt to the office of District Court Judge for the 18th Judicial District of North Carolina in 1999 and, in 2016, was appointed by Chief Justice Mark Martin as Chief District Court Judge of the district.

At the time of his passing, Tom was serving as the immediate past-president of the North Carolina Association of District Court Judges’ Board of Governors; on the board of the Governor’s Crime Commission, the DWI Sentencing Subcommittee, the Criminal Justice Information Network Board, the Legislative Review Subcommittee, the Justice Reinvestment Implementation Report Subcommittee, the Urban Judges Board, and the North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission.

Tom was actively involved in his church and community.  He was an active leader at The Summit Church where he served regularly as a greeter and enjoyed his time as a member of the High Point Young Life Committee.  He served as a Class of 2019 Co-Chair on the Executive Committee of the University of North Carolina Parents Council. He was also a former member of the Board of Directors for the Family Service of the Piedmont.

Tom was always passionate and excited about investing in the youth of our community.  He was very proud to be an Eagle Scout, along with two of his boys, and served as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 4.  He regularly served as a judge for the Advocates for Justice High School Mock Trial Program. Tom was instrumental in creating Street Safe, a teen driving program involving law-enforcement officers who teach behind-the-wheel training for young drivers.  With his friend Bobby Labonte, he helped raise funds to build stronger foundations for children and families through the Bobby Labonte Foundation.

In his role as District Court Judge, he regularly presided over all courtrooms including criminal, civil, domestic, juvenile, traffic, and specialty courts (drug, mental health, and juvenile drug courts). He was recognized for his excellence in Child Support Court and Domestic Violence Court by Court Watch of North Carolina. Tom created the first DWI Traffic Court in North Carolina, designed to help decrease the backlog of pending DWIs in Guilford County. He was also instrumental in planning the Family Justice Center in High Point. 

Despite his tremendous commitment to the community, Tom’s first priority was always time with his family.  He loved his mother’s crab cakes, a good ribeye steak, and homemade blue cheese dressing.  He enjoyed classic rock music, from his very first concert with his sister Jennie in 1967 (The Monkees with Jimi Hendrix as the opener in Greensboro), to attending concerts with his beautiful wife, Cindy. Tom was very proud of his wife and the way she loved and cared for the boys, as well as her leadership and service to improve our community.  He and Cindy loved entertaining friends at the lake, watching football games together, and sharing meals--he especially enjoyed her home-cooked dinners. He enjoyed driving cars and racing on a team with his close friends and family.  Above all, Tom loved spending time with his boys--including turning wrenches at the farm, crabbing at the beach, and, like his father before him, pulling the boys on skis or wakeboards behind his boat at the lake.

Pastor and friend Jonathan Robbins will conduct a celebration of Tom’s life on Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at The Summit Church, 4440 High Point Road, Kernersville, North Carolina 27284. A reception for family and friends will follow in High Point at a location to be announced at the service.  A private burial service will be conducted at Springfield Friends Meeting Cemetery.  Memorial contributions may be made to Family Service of the Piedmont, 902 Bonner Drive, Jamestown, NC 27282; High Point Young Life, P.O. Box 5086, High Point, NC 27262; The Summit Church at the above address; or The Bobby Labonte Foundation, 265 Eastchester Dr. Suite 133-367, High Point, NC 27262.




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Celebration of Life
August 8, 2019

11:00 AM
The Summit Church
4440 High Point Rd.
Kernersville, NC 27284


The Bobby Labonte Foundation
265 Eastchester Dr. Suite 133-367, High Point NC 27262

The Summitt Church
4400 High Point Rd., Kernersville NC 27284

Family Services of the Piedmont
1401 Long Dr., High Point NC 27262

High Point Young Life
P.O. Box 5086, High Point NC 27262


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