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The FOX13 family is mourning the loss of our friend and colleague Tom Dees.

The longest-tenured member of the FOX13 News team, Tom died Thursday morning at his home in Desoto County after an illness.

He would have turned 58 on Saturday, February 18, 2023. 

The longest-tenured member of the FOX13 News team, Tom died Thursday morning at his home in Desoto County after an illness.


Born in Indiana, Tom’s childhood took him and his family around the country and even to Japan as his father served in the US Air Force. Tom graduated high school in Louisiana, where he was a state cross country champion. But Mississippi was home. Tom was a proud and loyal Mississippi State Bulldog. He graduated from MSU in 1987 and soon started his career in TV news.

Tom joined FOX13 in the fall of 1995. Over the years he covered every kind of story you could imagine, from his morning Road Patrol segments providing traffic updates on Good Morning Memphis, to the 2008 presidential debate at the University of Mississippi. But he is perhaps best known for his Emmy Award-winning feature stories and his coverage of North Mississippi, including his long-running “Tom DEESoto County” segments.

Tom loved North Mississippi and championed its biggest issues and smallest details. It wouldn’t be spring in the FOX13 newsroom if Tom wasn’t pitching stories about the Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, which he loved to cover.

Over the last several years Tom was a multimedia journalist (MMJ), which is also known in the TV business as a one-man-band. That meant he typically crisscrossed North Mississippi by himself often turning a couple stories a day. Those stories were almost always filled with the real people of the region, who the stories impacted most. It was easy for Tom to find those real people, because he was one himself. In an industry known for big personalities and egos, there was no pretense to Tom Dees. Each day he put on a white dress shirt, khakis and big belt buckle and headed out in his news car to serve his community.

Outside of work, Tom was a family man through and through. Tom loved his wife Cathy and was incredibly proud of his three children: Amelia, Ally and Austin.

Tom played guitar, was a blackbelt in Taekwando and spoke Spanish.

To know Tom Dees was to love him. A man with a million questions his passion for the Mid-South personally and professionally was endearing and admirable. He was a tireless and loyal friend and colleague. He was quick with a self-deprecating quip (usually about his hair, or lack thereof) and could always bring a smile to those around him. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Tom Dees was laid to rest on Saturday, February 18, 2023. 

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