The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Homepage

April 29, 2013

Long-time Southerner newspaper carrier Baggett dies

TARBORO — For more than 25 years, Daily Southerner newspaper carrier Tommy Lee Baggett was one of the first to pick up his papers and one of the first to finish his route. The newspaper's longest-tenured carrier serviced one of the largest routes and traditionally received the fewest complaints. Baggett, whose work ethic and approach to customer care was applauded at one time or the other by each of the five publishers he served under, died Saturday after a lingering illness. He was 81.

"The Daily Southerner family has lost a valuable member," said publisher John H. Walker. "Likewise, many of our readers have lost a friend and a member of their extended family. Tommy was an old-school newspaper carrier in that he delivered our readers their newspapers in all types of weather conditions and he did it almost flawlessly. Tommy simply did not miss delivering his newspapers, even after his health began to fail."

On a good day, Baggett's 72-mile route took him four hours and 15 minutes to complete when he could get a head start on lunchtime traffic on the U.S. 64, he told a Daily Southerner reporter during a 2006 interview.

Baggett was born in Jackson, Miss., and raised in Minden, La., outside Shreveport. Apparently the Mississippian was a good high school athlete, but turned down a football scholarship to Louisiana Tech because he hated school. Instead, he chose to join the Navy for his first full-time job.

While stationed in Norfolk, Va., Baggett visited an uncle in Tarboro, where he met Alma Groover Mitchell. In less than four months, Baggett claimed Mitchell as his wife and Tarboro as his new home.

Along with his new home, Baggett found a job as a truck driver for Smoot Wholesale Co. During his tenure with Smoot, Baggett was seriously injured in a wreck that required him to have a knee and hip replacement. After he recovered from the injuries, Baggett went back to Smoot Wholesale, where he managed the company's warehouse until he retired in 1986.

That retirement was short-lived. Within about nine months, he found a niche with The Daily Southerner as a carrier.

“I had to be busy,” Baggett said in the 2006 interview. “I don’t think you can work all your life and then all of a sudden shut it down. Being active is good for anybody.”

Baggett rarely missed a day from work until he lost his wife Alma. After mourning her death, he was soon back on the route again. Baggett later married Alma Mitchell. Soon after that union, Baggett's health issues began to intensify but he continued to deliver when it was possible. His new wife learned her husband's route and delivered it when he was ill. Baggett returned periodically and rode with her until this latest episode.

Circulation Manager Joe Taylor said Baggett's last delivery was about 45 days ago.

"He loved what he did and he was good at what he did," Taylor said. "It was hard to pull him away from it. I can't believe that he's gone."

Taylor and Walker had estimated several months ago that Baggett, through home delivery and deliveries to dealers and newspaper vending boxes, was responsible for more than 750,000 papers reaching readers over the years.

Funeral services for Baggett will be held 2 p.m. Tuesday at Carlisle Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday at Carlisle.

 

1
Text Only
Homepage
On Golden Pond.jpg

Ethel (Roberta Cashwell), left, brings in kindling while directing pending stepgrandson Billy (Newman Jones) on where to pick strawberries during rehearsals for the Tar River Players upcoming production of “On Golden Pond.” The play begins a two weekend run at 8 p.m., Friday in ECC’s McIntyre Auditorium.

Local News
United Way.jpg

Kirk Scott, executive director of the Christian Fellowship Home of Nash and Edgecombe Counties, gives his keynote speech Wednesday at the United Way Tar River Region's community champions' luncheon at the Gateway Convention Center in Rocky Mount.

Our Community
Sports
Dawson Harris.jpg

Tarboro Vikings pitcher Dawson Harris throws a pitch in the third inning Wednesday against the Rocky Mount Prep Jaguars in the opening round of the 21st Annual Tarboro Easter Classic. Tarboro defeated the Jaguars 29-1.

  • Vikings break two Classic records

    The Tarboro Vikings set two Easter Classic records in four innings en route to 29-1 victory against the Rocky Mount Prep Jaguars  in the opening round of the 21st Annual Easter Classic. Both of those stats are Classic records.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vikings make late comeback
Opinion
  • The legacy of Joe W. Dickens Jr.'s dash

    Joe W. Dickens Jr.
    Sept. 14, 1953 - March 21, 2014
    The above statement is profound in its own way. It signifies the birth and the death of one of the most influential men in Edgecombe Coun

    March 31, 2014

Lifestyles
  • Bones-final-cover.jpg Local librarian pens first novel

    Roman Leary, director at Edgecombe County Memorial Library, has written his first novel – “Six Days of the Dragon.”

    March 19, 2014 2 Photos

Obituaries Archives
Events
  • EDGECOMBE EVENTS

    Edgecombe Events must be submitted by noon the day before publication. Items eligible include notices of local meetings and activities of non-profit organizations, clubs, schools and civic groups in the community. Information should be brief and typewritten, neatly printed or via  e-mail. For questions call 252-823-3106 or
    e-mail: events@dailysoutherner.com.

    April 24, 2014

Facebook
CNHI Network News
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US