Thomas Pritchard Fore Sr.

Published 12:01 am Saturday, September 14, 2019

Dec. 2, 1940 – Sept. 9, 2019

NATCHEZ — Thomas Pritchard Fore Sr., 78, died Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Vidalia, of sudden heart failure. A memorial service will be held later this year, details forthcoming.

Arrangements are under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

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Mr. Fore was a loving father, loyal friend, and true Southern gentleman.

Thomas was born in Natchez to Horace Hargraves Fore and Mattie Virginia Tiffee. At 14, he joined the National Guard. At 17, he was voted Natchez High School’s Most Handsome, graduated with the class of ’58, married Carmen Doughty, and had the first of his five eldest children.

He earned his bachelor of accounting from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1962 and completed graduate work in business and accounting at USM and Louisiana State University. In 1964, he became one of the youngest men in Mississippi to pass the Certified Public Accounting exam. In 1968, he was named partner at Handjis, Turpin, and McGraw accounting firm in Natchez, where he programmed one of the city’s first IBM mainframe computers. He also served as vice president at American United Products Corporation.

In 1974, Tom moved to Saudi Arabia to pursue a career in international business. There he worked for the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco), overseeing the construction of a $600 million infrastructure project and reporting on secret intelligence regarding the Saudi Arabian government’s purchase of Aramco. Today Saudi Aramco is the most profitable company in the world.

In 1977, he was appointed CEO of the Saudi International Rice Company. He supervised its mill production for three years, negotiating with banks and the Saudi Ministry of Finance to increase sales tenfold. He also established his own Persian rug trading business out of Iran.

During the 1980s, Tom’s business travels spanned five continents. While based in New Jersey, he served as marketing manager of the world’s largest private rice exporter, Connell Rice and Sugar Company, and liaison for their operations in the Middle East and East Africa. He then moved to Dallas to helm an international trading start-up, establishing a fruit export operation in Chile and food and lumber trade networks between Europe and Asia.

In the 90s, Tom served as vice president of a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm, advising multinational corporations entering business relations with the recently-collapsed Soviet Union, as well as Sub-Saharan Africa and Belize. He also co-founded a building materials distribution company in Virginia that forged trade partnerships throughout Russia and the Baltics.

At 50, Tom remarried and fathered two more daughters. At 60, he gave up his life of travel to raise them as a single parent. He continued to work as CFO and top financial officer at tech and title companies in Loudoun County, Va., until returning to Natchez in 2015 to be closer to friends and family.

He was predeceased by one sister, Patsy Pintard; and two daughters, Valerie Givens and Dawn Perry.

Thomas is survived by one son, Tip Fore; four daughters, Ginger Fore, Missy Forman, Mary Fore and Susan Fore; son-in-law R.T. Forman; former stepson, Anand Desai; former stepdaughter, Priya Desai; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

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