On Friday, July 29th, 2022, Thomas Nelson, loving husband, father and dog-dad, passed away at the age of 59.
Tom was born on November 13th, 1962 in Salem, OR to Joseph and Alberta Nelson. Tom attended North Salem High School, graduating in 1980. After high school, he worked as an EMT and resident volunteer firefighter for the City of Monmouth. Tom graduated from Chemeketa Community College’s Fire Protection program and went on to have a long career with the City of Salem as a firefighter, including having served over a decade as the Battalion Chief and Chief Deputy. On January 13th, 1990, he married Terry Larson and gained a wonderful stepson, Christopher. Together they raised two daughters, Erica and Rachael.
Tom enjoyed nature and was an avid bird watcher. After hearing a bird call, he could name the type of bird in an instant. Tom enjoyed cycling, skiing and walking for exercise. He grew up skiing at Hoodoo and frequented the slopes all through life. He could be found out at 4am walking many miles before a shift, or to and from the beach on family Florida trips. Tom was known for his thoughtfulness, quick wit, and beautiful singing voice. He proudly called himself a “classroom mom” while volunteering at his children’s elementary school. Tom’s humor made him a student-favorite chaperone on his daughters’ choir trips, and he was always the first one humming the key to start Happy Birthday at parties. He spent much time taking care of his dachshunds, having had seven over the years, and found great joy in watching after his grandchildren. Tom was a selfless man who put others before himself and would do anything for those he loved, especially his family.
Tom is survived by his wife, Terry, his children, Christopher, Erica and Rachael, his grandchildren, Eden, Ari and Ronen, as well as his three siblings, Karen, Laurie and Ron.
A memorial gathering will be held on Saturday, August 13th, 2022 at their home from 1-4pm, with a special commemoration at 2pm.