When it came to community, Thomas “Tommy” Harman loved to lend a helping hand. He served through local organizations and received many awards showcasing his dedication.
Harman passed away April 28 after battling cancer, but his legacy lives on in Lexington. The Clemson University graduate and enthusiast poured much of his heart into the Lexington Sertoma Club, where he served for 45 years, in addition to his work with the Power-Up Lunch and the chambers of Commerce for Lexington and Batesburg-Leesville.
According to Matthew Quinton with the Sertoma Club it was Harman’s idea to celebrate the Clemson-Carolina football game with the annual Big Thursday event, which features prominent former players from the rivalry and benefits the charitable organization’s efforts.
The Sertoma Club expressed their sympathies after hearing about Harman’s passing. He was a charter member of the organization and was recently awarded a service award for more than four decades of dedication to the club.
“[He committed] himself and his time to the betterment of those around him,” the club posted to Facebook, extending condolences to Harman’s wife, Bobbie Sue, and the rest of his family.
The club credits him with identifying speech, hearing and community needs (including park enhancements at Gibson Pond Road), supporting Camp Sertoma (a summer camp serving children with speech and hearing impairments at Clemson’s Outdoor Lab) and garnering support for the club’s major fundraisers (including the Spring Golf Tournament and Big Thursday).
In addition to his service through Sertoma, Harman was also president and CEO of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce from 1995 to 1999. He also served on the Batesburg-Leesville Chamber of Commerce.
During his time at the Lexington Chamber, Harman served as President and CEO from 1995 to 1999. While at the Chamber, Harman helped grow membership by about 400 members, exiting when the organization had about 700 members. One of his initiations was a gift certificate program that helped the local businesses.
Harman’s contributions to Lexington didn’t go unnoticed, and he received a few prestigious awards for his dedication to helping Lexington.
In 2015, Harman received the S.C. Order of the Silver Crescent from Gov. Nikki Haley. He also received the A.L. Harman Award from the Lexington Chamber in 2015 for his service and support to the organization; the award is named after Harman’s father.
Additionally, Harman received the Lexington Sertoma Club Achievement award for his numerous contributions.
Surrounding his time serving at the Chamber and other organizations around town, Harman started his professional career working at Lexington State Bank, which led to his time at the Chamber. After the Chamber, he was in charge of public relations at Pond Branch Telephone Company until he retired in 2015. Pond Branch Telephone Company eventually became Comporium.
Aside from his professional accomplishments, Harman made time for his wife Bobbie Sue Harman. The couple celebrated their 50th anniversary this past January. Together, they had two kids and six grandchildren.
“Tommy Harman epitomized the consummate servant leader who impacted the lives of countless residents of the Lexington Community,” said Matthew Quinton of the Seterma Club. “As a Christian, Tommy used the Lexington Sertoma Club as a vehicle to serve people in need. He was loved dearly and will be greatly missed by his fellow Sertomans”
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