Obituary: Thomas Nelson, 1941-2019 | Obituaries – Seven Days

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  • Thomas Nelson

Thomas (Tom) Nelson, 77, of St. George passed away peacefully on April 5, 2019, at the University of Vermont Medical Center after suffering a brief illness.

Tom was born in Cape Girardeau, Mo., on August 5, 1941, to Thomas Nelson Jr. and Delpha Nelson. He spent his childhood growing up in Missouri and Kentucky before his family moved to the Chicago suburbs. Tom attended Kentucky Military Institute for his last year of high school. After military school, he joined the Air Force and served for four years, spending time in Korea following the war. After being discharged, he moved back to Illinois, where he successfully managed a service station. Eventually he made his way to Florida, where he spent many years living in Pompano Beach. It was there that he found his love for carpentry through working in the construction field. He also became an expert scuba diver, enjoyed deep sea fishing and played a lot of tennis while living in the Sunshine State.

One day the northern winds came calling, and he found himself living in Burlington, Vt. It was here he continued to work construction and started his own carpentry business. Although his company did new construction, renovation of older homes was always Tom’s passion. He thrived on always having something to do and continued to do small projects in the Burlington area until just months before his death. He loved being useful to others in any way that he could.

During his time in Vermont, Tom always had a very special relationship with plants and gardening. He was happiest while working in his garden and tending his many houseplants. He also taught himself to sail on Lake Champlain and spent long hours sailing out on the water. His passion for fishing continued in Vermont, where he and his youngest son Daniel took joy in countless fishing trips. Toward the end of his life, he was an avid reader; when he wasn’t working on a project, you could often find him at the Williston library checking out his weekly books.

Tom leaves behind four children: Joel Nelson of Lakewood, Ca.; Terri Berkheimer of Manassas, Va.; Scot Nelson of Deland, Fla.; and Daniel Nelson of St. George, Vt. He is also survived by his sister Barbara Deldin of Largo, Fla.; his brother Joseph Nelson of Coon Rapids, Minn.; his former wife and dear friend Mary-Ellen Giroux of Williston, Vt.; and four grandchildren, Mariah, Brandon, Luke and Morgan. Last but not least, Tom is survived by three beloved cats, Timi-Nu, Tucky and Walter.

During the last days of his life, he was full of many profound thoughts, one of which being, “I am ready to set my sails and sail off into a sea of bliss … to see what I will find.” We’ll look forward to finding him out there someday.


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