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T. Michael Womack

October 23, 1953 April 8, 2020
T.  Michael  Womack
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Obituary for T. Michael Womack

T. Michael Womack, retired librarian, U. S. Library of Congress, and communicant of St. James’ Episcopal Church, died at home in north Jackson on April 8, 2020. He was 66 years of age.
A requiem eucharist will be held at St. James’ after coronavirus stay-home directives expire. Sebrell Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Womack returned to his native Mississippi in 2016, having retired from the Library of Congress after 25 years of federal service. Colleagues credited his dedication to the Library’s collections, staff, and mission.
Born in Magee and a 1971 top graduate of Magee High School, he earned a bachelor’s of music degree in organ performance at Mississippi College, a master’s of arts degree in Germanic linguistics from the University of Michigan, and a master’s of arts degree in history, with an emphasis in archival management, from New York University. During the mid-1970’s, he lived in Germany as an exchange student for a year and traveled extensively when not attending class. In New York City, he attended the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Greenwich Village, serving in the music ministry with Vernon de Tar, the organist and choirmaster there for 42 years and also a teacher at the Union Theological Seminary, Yale University, and the Juilliard School.
From 1986 through 1991, Womack worked at the Beinecke Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Yale University. There, he processed the collections of the writer Hermann Broch and the philosopher Ernst Cassirer, among a number of others.
In 1991, he accepted a position as archivist in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress where he processed collections on American history, literature, and particularly those dealing with psychoanalysis in German. For example, he processed the collection of the psychiatrists Anna Freud, Berta Bornstein, and Fredric Wertham as well as the sociologist Amitai Etzioni. In 2000, he joined the Germanic and Scandinavian Team in the former Social Sciences Cataloging Division where he cataloged primarily Dutch and German items.

After the 2008 ABA reorganization, he joined the History and Military Science Section in the U. S. Arts, Sciences, and Humanities Division. In that Section, he cataloged works on history in English as well as German, Dutch, and French. His knowledge of German, both written and conversational, was outstanding, and he was passionate about and learned in languages and linguistics. He also served as the Acting Section Head of the History and Military Science Section and for a year as a Cataloging in Publication Program Specialist on detail.

Womack served throughout his career on numerous Library committees and was involved with several employee organizations. In 1998, he founded the Forum for the Study of Comparative Religion and coordinated its activities for more than 12 years. He was passionate about growing plants, and his green thumb and plant-graced cubicle were legendary. He was a longtime Guild Steward and a member of the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access (ABA) Labor-Management Consultative Group. He cared deeply about worker rights and social justice and accomplished much on behalf of the Library’s staff.

A Capitol Hill resident in Washington, D.C., he was a communicant of St. Paul’s Parish, K Street. Through his decades away, he maintained close connections with Episcopal friends and clergy in Mississippi, particularly the late Reverend Charles Osborne Moyer, who recruited him as a college student to sing at St. Columb’s Church in Jackson and later retired to St. James’ Episcopal Church.
At St. James,’ Womack served as a lay reader and especially enjoyed singing with the choir under the direction of choirmaster and organist Don Messer. Messer described his friend as “a fine tenor, who could sing in perfect unison with any other singer, and frequently contributed the funniest comments at rehearsals.”
Womack was born October 23, 1953, to Nevis McAlpin Womack and the late Gaddis Womack. Besides his mother, survivors include his brother Fred Womack of Diamondhead and his sister Jean Womack Redding of Jackson, Tennessee; other Womack and McAlpin family members; and a community of friends. Committal will take place at St. James’ Columbarium.

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Family holding services at a later date.

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Location

St. James' Episcopal Church Final Resting Place

3921 Oak Ridge Drive
Jackson, MS 39216

3921 Oak Ridge Drive Jackson 39216 MS
United States
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