Thomas Willard Nelson, 48, of Athens passed away Sunday, April 5, 2020, at Starr Regional Medical Center of Athens. He was a native and lifelong resident of McMinn County and was preceded in death by paternal grandparents, Willard and Beulah Nelson; maternal grandfather, Jess H. Davis Jr.; mother-in-law, Deborah Webb Whittaker; and great-aunt, Flora Lee Fitch. He was a graduate of McMinn County High School and Tennessee Technological University. Thomas was an employee of Volunteer Energy Cooperative, a former employee of The DPA, and was a member of North Athens Baptist Church. He was a dedicated assistant scoutmaster for Cub Scout Troop 177, was a Girl Scout leader of Girl Scout Troop 40444 and was an Eagle Scout. He served on many scout committees, including Girl Scout Cookie Sales, Cub Scout Popcorn Sales and many others. Survivors include his wife of 23 years, Autumn Hughes Nelson of Athens; twin daughter and son, Rhiannon Marie Nelson and Riley Willard Nelson; mother and father, Carolyn and Larry Nelson of Decatur; sister and brother-in-law, Amy Nelson and John Garrigan of Madison, Ala., and their children, Abi, Thomas and William; grandmother, Mary E. Davis; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Randy and Karen Hughes; and many other family members and friends. A private graveside service will be at McMinn Memory Gardens with the Rev. Jimmy McCarter officiating. Pallbearers will be Josh Dennis, Randy Hughes, David Baxter, Derrick Malone, David Pierce, Shaun Ryan and Matt Zemer. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Cub Scout Pack 177 or Girl Scout Troop 40444 to Bowater Credit Union, Attn.: Sherry Newman, 1112 Congress Pkwy., Athens, TN 37303. Friends may come by at their convenience from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday at Laycock-Hobbs Funeral Home. A video of the graveside service will be available on Friday on the funeral home’s Facebook page. Condolences may be sent at Laycock-Hobbs Funeral Home of Athens is in charge of arrangements.

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