Thomas James Prisk III

Prisk Obit

Thomas James Prisk III went home to be with the Lord and his beloved wife Jean on what would have been her 75th birthday, March 3, 2023.

Memorial Service: 2PM Saturday, April 1, 2023 at  Lake Shore Funeral Home Chapel.

Tom was born October 21, 1937 in Columbus, Ohio to Thomas James Jr and Geraldine Prisk. The family moved to Waco in 1952 and Tom graduated from Waco High School in 1955. Tom graduated from Texas A&M University in 1959 with a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He was a member of the Corps of Cadets and pursued a Master’s degree in math with a focus on spatial mechanics.

Tom was a lifelong musician and began playing the drums when he was in junior high. In high school, he continued to grow and excel in his craft and competed at the state level in percussion. He paused his college studies temporarily to pursue his passion as a drummer and go on the road, touring with Buddy Knox. Afterwards, he returned to Texas A&M and worked in the math department as a teaching assistant while completing his studies. NASA offered Tom a job, but he decided to finish his Master’s degree instead. He later went on the road again, this time with Jimmy Heap, while living in Taylor, Texas.

After road life, he eventually returned to Waco to focus on his professional career and home life. He continued playing in local bands with great musicians and great friends, and had the honor of playing at Austin City Limits with Johnny Gimble, Tiny Moore and Jethro Burns. He was also the studio drummer on Mark O’Connor’s 1993 album Heroes. Tom loved a wide variety of music and had the versatility to play in R&B, Country, Western Swing, Big Band, Pop, Jazz, and Blues bands. You could see his comfort and joy when he was playing.

In addition to music, Tom remained a gifted mathematician who wanted everyone to love, or at least not hate, mathematics. His teaching extended beyond Texas A&M, and he tutored his children and others in mathematics over the years. Friends and family have fond memories of Tom’s quick wit and sense of humor.  Although Tom was an Aggie, he loved Baylor and was a passionate fan of Lady Bears basketball.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents; his brother-in-law, Ron Browning; his nephew, Lee Joe Browning; and his wife, Dr. Jean Boyd-Prisk.

He is survived by his sister, Sue Browning, of Las Vegas, NV; his children, Thomas James IV and wife, Judy Prisk, of Houston, Joshua and wife, Amy Prisk, of Plano, Sarah and husband, John Taylor, of Waco, and John and wife, Tammy Phillips, of Waco; his grandchildren, Tommy V and Johanna Prisk, of Houston, Alex Phillips and fiancé, Haley Jaime, of Waco, Audrey Prisk and fiancé, Jacob Mueller, of Hutto, and Kaitlynn Phillips of Waco; and his niece, Laura Browning, of Las Vegas, NV.


Place of Service: Lake Shore Funeral Home Chapel , 5201 Steinbeck Bend; Waco, TX 76708

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Condolence Messages

  1. To Tom’s family,

    I still remember the great times Tom & I had in high school and at Texas A&M. I put together a big dance at Heart of Texas Coliseum back in the late 50’s where I hired Tom and our friend Richard Smith and their band to play. We had lots of double dates, and I was there for Tom’s first wedding. I wish we could have remained closer through the years, but everybody goes their own way. My sincere condolences to the family and everyone who loved Tom.

  2. Tracey Pack Upshaw

    I have nothing but wonderful memories of Tom playing in daddy’s band Charlie Pack and the Originals! Before I joined the band, i had an 8 track tape the band made and i learned how to sing every harmony on that tape, so when it came time for me to start singing with the band; the harmony I would pick turned out to be Tom’s Part as well!! LOL

    Bless Him for putting up with this little ole teeanger at the time. I Loved Him as if he were my own in those days. We had great times of playing on the Bargs’ on Lake Waco and we would play til the sun came down.
    What I would give to have those days back again.

    Hugs and Prayers to this precious family!! He was greatly loved by so many.
    Tracey Pack Upshaw

  3. Cheryl Traudt

    My heart is with Sarah, Tom IV, John and Josh today. I met Jean during her last years at Baylor, and I would describe her in a term my own mom is fond of using as “a real corker.” Getting to know Tom’s and Jean’s children has been a joy, and I wish their hearts peace and comfort in knowing they gave their all to help their parents. Surely Heaven is a lively place with Tom and Jean fully engaged in song and dance!

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