Thomas Parker Maddrey, 87, died January 10, 2022 in his new apartment at Heritage Woods Senior Retirement Community in Winston-Salem. He was the youngest child of the late Audrey Parker Maddrey and David Barnes Maddrey, Sr. Born on June 18, 1934 in Seaboard, NC, he was raised on the family farm in Northampton County. He graduated from Jackson High School in 1952, attended East Carolina University, served in the U.S. Army from 1954-1956, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1959 with a degree in journalism. He was a member of the professional journalism fraternity Sigma Delta Chi and the scholastic journalism fraternity Kappa Tau Alpha.
In 1960 he married the love of his life, Anne Graham Knox of Statesville, NC, who died in November 2017 (https://www.hayworth-miller.com/obituary/Anne-Maddrey). He is survived by their twin children and spouses, Katherine Maddrey Barrier and husband, Daniel L. Barrier of Concord, and Robert Parker Maddrey and husband, Mark K. S. Tulbert of Raleigh. He is also survived by his grandson, James Robert Barrier of Boone.
Two sisters survive him, Mary D. Maddrey and Emma Jean Vann, both of Alexandria, Virginia, and six nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister, Lona M. Hackenberg, brother, David Barnes Maddrey, Jr., niece, Mary Lois H. Throwe, and nephew, David Thomas Maddrey.
When asked what he did for a living, he would say he was a “newspaper man.” Maddrey aspired to work in news reporting early on. As a young boy, he sold the weekly rural newspaper Grit door-to-door, riding his bike on dusty farm roads earning pennies. He worked and interned with the Hertford County Herald, Northampton County News, and The News & Observer. At ECU he was editor-in-chief of the East Carolinian, and at UNC was a reporter for The Daily Tar Heel. Upon graduating from Carolina, Maddrey started the Andrews Journal, a weekly newspaper in Andrews, NC. In 1960 he became the editor and publisher of the Rutherford County News where he worked for eight years.
In 1969 he joined the news staff of the Winston-Salem Journal, retiring in 1995. He served on the copy desk, was assistant state editor, and was the farm editor for 20 years, producing and editing content that told both the human and economic stories of rural life, and writing his weekly Monday column, “Countryside.” Maddrey had broad knowledge of the agricultural business of northwest North Carolina. In 1987 he received the National Communication Award from the Soil Conservation Service and many local and state awards for his coverage of agriculture in the region. During his career, he worked in all aspects of the newspaper business, from writing and editing, to typesetting, printing, and selling advertising. What he loved most was meeting people, listening, and writing their stories, especially about those who farmed and the business of farming.
After retiring from the Journal, Maddrey worked two years at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market. He enjoyed the friendship of farmers and growers he had known for many years.
Helping others was important throughout his life. He volunteered in the classroom at Bolton Elementary, went on Boy Scout camping trips, and prepared and served meals for those less fortunate. In retirement, Maddrey enjoyed volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and the Bolton Food Pantry. He was an active member of Trinity Presbyterian Church. He enjoyed woodworking and made beautiful furniture, lamps and frames for his wife and children. He loved reading and started every morning with the Winston-Salem Journal.
Maddrey was a kind, sweet gentleman who enjoyed time spent with family and those he met on his journey. He was a devoted and loving husband. His love for his children was unconditional. He was a devoted Poppy to his grandson. He loved his four-legged friends through the years and is survived by his dog Nugget. He will be remembered for so many things – his dry sense of humor and wit, his selflessness and abundance of patience, and making a difference in the lives of his children, family, neighbors and friends.
A service to celebrate the life of Parker Maddrey will be held at 3:00 PM on Saturday, January 29, 2022 at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1416 Bolton Street, Winston-Salem, with the Rev. Jon Gaska officiating. The family will receive friends immediately following the service in the church fellowship hall. The service will be livestreamed via Zoom (See link below obituary). Burial will be held that same morning at 11:00 AM in Oakwood Cemetery in Statesville at the Knox family plot off Sugar Maple Drive. COVID protocols will be followed and masks will be required.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to Trinity Presbyterian Church or the charity of one’s choice. Online condolences may be made at www.hayworth-miller.com.
Click to Livestream Parker Maddrey Memorial Service via Zoom Sat., January 29, 2022 at 3 p.m.
Meeting ID: 882 3514 6642
Charity of the donor's choice
Trinity Presbyterian Church
1416 Bolton St SW, Winston-Salem NC 27103