Most people remember former Spotsylvania County Sheriff Thomas “T.C.” Waddy as more of a small-town, Mayberry-type lawman than a hard-nosed officer looking to lock someone up.
“He knew everybody,” former county Commonwealth’s Attorney Bill Neely said.
Mary Lee Carter, who knew Waddy for half a century, echoed Neely’s sentiment.
“His motto was, ‘I’m not out to get you, I’m here to help you,’ ” said Carter, a former supervisor who served with Waddy during his time on the Board of Supervisors.
Waddy died Thursday at age 84.
A lifelong county resident, Waddy was a deputy for eight years before being elected sheriff in 1979. He served as sheriff for 16 years. He was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1999 and represented the Livingston District for 12 years.
He is survived by his wife, Mary, and six children.
Carter and Neely described Waddy as a kind man who cared deeply about the county. Even after he left public service, Waddy continued to attend county meetings to keep up with things, said Carter, a Planning Commission member.
Waddy was a staunch supporter of the county’s volunteer fire and rescue departments and a cornerstone of his first campaign for the Board of Supervisors was the construction of a new Belmont fire and rescue station to serve the area around Lake Anna. He kept that promise in his first term and it was among his proudest accomplishments in office.
A farmer in the Lake Anna area, Waddy was known for his service to constituents. In a 2003 story in The Free Lance–Star about his first bid for reelection, Waddy said he enjoyed “helping people who need help.”
But he was quick to credit others. In discussing the fire station in that 2003 article, he added: “If it hadn’t been for the people in the county helping me, we never would have gotten it.”
Carter said as a supervisor, Waddy could be “stubborn as a mule” but he also “knew how to compromise.”
Neely also noted that Waddy “didn’t like to spend money” but added that the former sheriff was always looking out for the county’ best interests.
“He wanted what was best for Spotsylvania County,” said Carter, who also remembered fondly his “political parties” at his home.
While Carter pointed out that if Waddy didn’t like something “he’d tell you,” she also will remember his “genuine smile. He always made you feel good.”
Neely praised Waddy as a leader while Carter noted his ability to work with anyone. Both also described him as a good person.
“He was a very hard-working, dedicated, honest man,” Neely said.
The family will receive friends from 1:30–3 p.m. Sunday at Mount Hermon Baptist Church, where he was a lifelong member and served as a deacon for several years. A service will be held at 3 p.m. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.