Thomas "Tom" Eugene Nelson

Born in Buffalo, NY on December 1, 1947

Departed on June 6, 2019 and resided in Hendersonville, TN

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Thomas Eugene Nelson, 71, of Hendersonville, passed away on Thursday, June 6, 2019. Preceded in death by his parents, Gene and Kay Nelson. Survived by his wife Sandy of 35 years, children; Cheryl Sullivan (Pat), Ricky Nelson (Kim), Billy London (Sharon), Beth Langlois (Jonathan), grandchildren; Evan, Grant, Chase, Kinsley, Shaun, Emeri and Hudson, five great-grandchildren and sister, Carol Suchnya. Tom is also survived by his Shih Tzu, “Sophie” along with many extended family and friends.

Tom was born on December 1, 1947 in Buffalo, New York. He later moved to the South in his late 20’s where he met Sandy. Tom retired from Peterbilt in 2009 as an Inventory Specialist. He was fitness enthusiast and worked out several times a week. He loved running and competed in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. Tom was an avid fan of NHRA drag racing and NASCAR. His all-time favorite driver was Bill Elliott. Tom attended the Daytona 500 for 39 consecutive years and 2020 would have been his 40th trip to Daytona. Tom was fond of MOPAR and was a member of the Dodge Boys of Hendersonville car club. He was a member of Hendersonville First Baptist Church and a member of the Gil Douglas Connect Group. He was a hockey fan and even played hockey when he was younger and he enjoyed snow skiing. Tom was a member and avid fundraiser for the ALS Association Tennessee Chapter. He is the 2019 Co-Chairman of the ALS Walk for Life. Tom was a loving, devoted and proud husband, father and grandfather. He enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren, whether it was assisting them with projects or attending their various sporting events. Tom will be dearly missed by his family and by all those who knew him.

A Celebration of Life for Tom will be held in the chapel at Hendersonville First Baptist Church on Sunday, June 9th, 2019 at 2:00PM. Visitation will begin at 1:00PM.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Tom’s name can be made to the ALS Foundation, Tennessee Chapter at

25 Comments to Thomas "Tom" Eugene Nelson

  1. Jenette McFall & family
    June 7, 2019 8:10 pm

    Thoughts & Prayers for you & your family.

  2. Rick & Diana Carillon
    June 7, 2019 8:25 pm

    Sandy, we will continue to pray for you & your family. Just know Rick & I are here for you. Sandy you are a special lady. Love & prayers. Rick & Diana Carillon

  3. Mike Sisk
    June 7, 2019 8:28 pm

    Tom was a blessing to have as a friend, fellow Dodge Boy, and fellow racer. I will always remember his contagious smile whenever he was driving or racing his Dodge Challenger. I will miss him dearly and look forward to seeing him in heaven and lining up on the start line to race him. Love you, Tom.

  4. Jim Yates
    June 7, 2019 8:42 pm

    Dear Sandy and family, I am so very sorry to learn of Tom’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this very difficult time!

  5. Margaret Conner Wallis
    June 7, 2019 8:49 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and family.

  6. Skodie
    June 7, 2019 8:57 pm

    The world lost a good man. We will miss him greatly. I will truly miss our yearly ski and beach trips. Our family will morn but also celebrate his life. My prayers are for everyone has we grieve but I will always smile when I think of Grandpa Tom… see ya on the other side “old man”

  7. Terry & Karen Frazier
    June 7, 2019 9:31 pm

    Sandy may you know he is watching down in all the glory on you. May God help lift you up as you go though the next days, weeks, months. We will continue to pray for you and all of your family. We will never forget the smile he had when he raised up out of the baptism pool.

  8. Joe Hampton Jr
    June 7, 2019 9:38 pm

    Although I only knew Tom for a short time, I witnessed his zest for living. His love for Sandy and for all people. A heinous Disease could not stop his smile or enthusiasm.

    His determination was an inspiration to all who knew him. His commitment to The Lord was obvious. His powerful desire to be Baptized, given his condition bordered upon being unbelievable.

    I have no doubt Tom now is reaping The Heavenly Eternal Life promised by his Savior!

  9. Julie Pfennig Canipe
    June 7, 2019 9:41 pm

    Dear Sandy, Ricky, Cheryl and all, I’m keeping you all in my prayers for comfort. I have fond memories of Uncle Tommy. Love you!

  10. Art and Sandy McCoy
    June 7, 2019 10:42 pm

    Sandy, continuing to pray for you and the family. I am going to miss that smile. Tom was so encouraging and bright example to follow. Know he is having a great time at home now. He was such inspiration to young and old alike.

  11. Art and Sandy McCoy
    June 7, 2019 11:05 pm

    Sandy, we are going to miss that smile. Did not know Tom that long but had grown to live him. He was such an encouragement by the way he showed his faith. Know he is smiling down from his home. Our prayers with you and the family.

  12. Dianne Gero Crook
    June 7, 2019 11:06 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Tom was a very special friend and I will cherish the memories.

  13. Rick and Becky Armstrong
    June 7, 2019 11:31 pm

    Sandy, Our hearts are heavy for you and your family, but we rejoice knowing that Tom’s struggle is over and he is victorious. We know where he is now and you will see him again. So glad we got to know him. He is a true inspiration.

  14. Catherine Curry
    June 8, 2019 6:30 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during your loss. Let’s remember that our loss is heavens gain and God has gained another angel. Cheryl and Ricky I love you both.

  15. Jane Jones'
    June 8, 2019 8:56 am

    Sandy, my heart breaks for you and yours .
    I so enjoyed the times I had with you and Tom at Ricky’s. Tom’s zest for life was obvious and inspiring for anyone he was around.
    May our precious Lord surround you with his loving arms during this time.
    Please know I will keep you in my prayers.

  16. Larry and Renee pfennig
    June 8, 2019 9:15 am

    Larry and I are truly sorry for your loss. It’s never easy to lose a parent, grandparent,spouse,and friend when they are all the same person. We are praying for the family. We hope you find comfort in the happy memories you share. Love always

  17. Eddie and Teresa Coker
    June 8, 2019 9:33 am

    Sandra our childhood friend, we are deeply sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Love Eddie and Teresa Coker

  18. Johnny and Patt Cooper
    June 8, 2019 10:30 am

    Tom was an amazing man. He faced every day with a positive attitude and a smile. That’s how Johnny and I will always remember him. Sandy, you were completely devoted to Tom, and you were the ultimate advocate for his wants and needs. As you go through this painful period we will be right next door and you can call on us any time. Our love and prayers to you and Tom’s family.

  19. Ron Mastin
    June 8, 2019 11:48 am


    Praying that GOD gives you peace that surpasses understanding. We know that Tom finished his life strong and is in heaven, so we celebrate his life well lived.

    We are out of town, otherwise we would be there tomorrow.

    With much love,

    Ron and Denisa Mastin

  20. Pam and Forest Carpenter
    June 8, 2019 12:31 pm

    Deep pain for your loss, great joy for Tom.

  21. Pam and Forest Carpenter
    June 8, 2019 12:32 pm

    Deep pain for your loss, great joy for Tom.

  22. Douglas and Shena Ingram
    June 8, 2019 2:28 pm

    We are sorry to hear of your loss. Many prayers for your family.

  23. Pam Christy
    June 9, 2019 12:27 am

    I wish I had met Tom earlier than I did. ALS is such a horrific disease and yet he met it head-on everyday and i never saw him without a smile. What an inspiration He will be missed. Sandy–he loved you so much keep those memories in your heart. Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. if you need anything please call.

  24. Melinda Brown
    June 9, 2019 2:37 am

    So sorry to hear about Tom. My prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

  25. Aunt Anne and Uncle Warren
    June 9, 2019 5:53 pm

    Sandy, When the Lord calls our loved ones home, He leaves a gift of memories in exchange. Hold on to your memories and let them guide you during this time of sadness. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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