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Retired 1st Sgt. Thomas Lee Nelson

Retired 1st Sgt. Thomas (Tom) Lee Nelson deployed for his final mission to the Great Beyond from his home in Page, Arizona, Feb. 11, 2021, at the age of 61 years.

Tom was born the son of Alred Nelson and Patricia Twigg in Concord, California. He eventually made his way to Fort Riley after joining the United States Army and subsequently the Kansas Army National Guard, retiring with 23 years of service including Operation Iraqi Freedom. Tom was a true patriot, deeply believing in the God given rights of every American citizen and was willing to fight for those rights. “Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” ~Adlai Stevenson.

Tom was born the son of Alred Nelson and Patricia Twigg in Concord, California. He eventually made his way to Fort Riley after joining the United States Army and subsequently the Kansas Army National Guard, retiring with 23 years of service including Operation Iraqi Freedom. Tom was a true patriot, deeply believing in the God-given rights of every American citizen and was willing to fight for those rights. “Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” — Adlai Stevenson

Tom enjoyed fishing, camping, golf, softball, skiing, bowling, moonlit nights and campfires. He loved and was very proud of his three children. His grandchildren were the light of his life. He could very frequently be found helping friends or total strangers with projects or just sitting quietly listening to their problems. Tom made friends easily and if you became true friends with him, you were subject to well-meaning insults at any time, with no warning or regret.

Tom is survived by his wife, Sharon of Page, Arizona; his mother, Patricia Nelson of Concord, California; his son Zach Nelson and wife, Leah, of Hiawatha; daughters Breanne and Danae Nelson of Topeka; and his grandchildren Drew and Taya in Hiawatha, who he spent many hours with on Facetime. Tom is also survived by four sisters and four brothers, Joanne South (JR), Erp, California; Martha (Charlie) Coltrin, Carson City, Nevada; Peggy Nelson, Antioch, California; Patty Preciado, Rio Rico, Arizona; Jim (Jennifer) Nelson, Pleasant Hill, California; Steve (Susan) Nelson, Sonora, California; Dan (Sandy) Nelson, Lebanon, Oregon; John (Debbie) Nelson Orlando, Florida; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father and two brothers, Bill and Rick. Tom had many others scattered everywhere who called him Dad and Grandpa and he loved them like his own blood. The Band of Brothers through his military career stretched far and wide and it will never be broken, not even by death.

Tom met Sharon in Liberal, Kansas, in 1999 and they were married July 29, 2000. Except for Tom’s military deployments, they lived in Liberal until March 2013. They then moved to Page, Arizona, to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Lake Powell area. Tom could most likely be found on the golf course, on the lake, helping a friend or carrying home a rescue/foster animal to care for. As Tom requested, cremation has taken place and memorial services will be held at a later date.