In memory of

Thomas Nelson

Nov 13, 1962
Jul 29, 2022


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.

Service Information

Memorial Gathering
Saturday, August 13th, 2022 1-4pm
Special Commemoration at 2pm.
Nelson Family Residence

Messages of Sympathy

  1. Tina Monson says:

    In my thoughts. So many great memories with your family I will always cherish.

  2. Shirley Gratz Everson says:

    Our sincerest condolences to your family. Praying for peace and comfort.

  3. Vicki Champ says:

    Terry and family, this just breaks my heart to read this. I never had the good fortune of meeting Tom, but just knowing you and Erica through Jazzercise I know he had to have been a wonderful person. That’s the type of people you would attract. There are no words that will give you peace and comfort as you deal with the loss of him. You have made so many friends in your career and Jazzercise that care about you so much. We would all love to take your grief away if it was possible.

    Keeping you close in my thoughts and prayers as you go down this long, lonely road that so many of us are on.

  4. Robyn Compton says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Keeping you in my prayers.

  5. Brent Kibby says:

    I remember all of the swim meets we attended together. The highlight of away meets was Tom making his famous pancakes for all of the swimmers who wanted some.
    He was a truly great man, and I will miss him.

  6. Joan Larson says:

    Walked the John Ringling Causeway Bridge today and thought about Tom. My deepest condolences to you Terry and family.

  7. Joan Larson says:

    My deepest condolences Terry and family. I walked the bridge in Sarasota today and thought of Tom.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Walked the John Ringling Causeway Bridge today and thought about Tom. My deepest condolences to you Terry and family.

  9. Kathy and Brent Kibby says:

    Oh Terry no. We are so sorry to hear this. We are so very sorry.

  10. Staff of Johnson Funeral Home says:

    Thank you for trusting Johnson Funeral Home with his arrangements.

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