A Discovery Channel “legend” has sadly passed away in 2023. Marvin ‘Jim Tom’ Hedrick from hit show Moonshiners was pronounced dead on Wednesday, September 6. The Master Distiller and reality TV star spent five seasons on Moonshiners from 2012 until 2017.

Jim Tom appeared on the Discovery show alongside other well-known moonshiners including Digger, Mark, Tickle, Tim, and Popcorn. The veteran moonshiner helped countless up-and-coming distillers with their ventures in his life and kept the traditional alcohol-making methods going.

Jim Tom Hendrick speaks to camera filming Moonshiners wearing cap, shirt and jacket
Credit: Discovery YouTube channel

Is Jim Tom from Moonshiners dead?

Yes. Jim Tom Hedrick sadly passed away on Wednesday, September 6, 2023.

He was born on December 25, 1940, and died at the age of 82.

TMZ exclusively reports via a family member of Jim Tom: “JT had kidney cancer and was receiving dialysis for a long time.”

The report adds: “We’re told Jim was in a nursing home for the last year.”

Jim Tom Hedrick: Master Distiller

Moonshiners introduced Discovery Channel viewers to Jim Tom Hedrick.

He was one of the last “old-time shiners” on the show and spent his life as a Master Distiller in Appalachia.

The Moonshiners legend had over 50 years of experience building copper stills and created his own distinct alcohol.

According to Jim Tom, he made the “best whiskey in the county.”

He became known as “Rye Daddy” on the series for his expertise in making whiskey.

Prayers for our buddy Jim Tom’s family, he passed this morning! I’m sure he’s catching up with Roy!

Posted by Mark & Digger on Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Tributes pour in for Jim Tom from Moonshiners

Following the sad news of Jim Tom’s passing, tributes are pouring in for the Moonshiners star.

Fans took to Twitter to write: “Gone but not forgotten! Raise a toast to Jim Tom.”

Another said: “Jim Tom from Moonshiners passed away. Truly sad. Rest in peace.”

More tweeted: “RIP Jim Tom from Moonshiners. Thank you for great memories!”

Former co-stars of Jim Tom’s also took to social media to pay tribute to him.

Tim Smith tweeted: “Remembering Moonshiner Jim Tom 1940 – 2023. Shine in Peace forever.”

Sugarlands Distilling Company also posted a tribute including the words: “It’s with heavy hearts we say goodbye to our dear friend Marvin “Jim Tom” Hedrick. Born Christmas Day, 1940, Jim Tom dedicated much of his life to the art of moonshining, becoming a legend in Appalachia along the way…”

Moonshiners stars Mark and Digger also shared a Facebook post reading: “Prayers for our buddy Jim Tom’s family, he passed this morning! I’m sure he’s catching up with Roy!”

In late August, Mark and Digger shared photos from a visit to JT in hospital. They wrote: “Prayers for our buddy Jim Tom! Praying for comfort and peace! We love you JT!”

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