Tom Nelson, 96, dies June 9 in Ozark - Word&Way

Tom Nelson, 96, dies June 9 in Ozark

Thomas W. Nelson, 96, former executive director of the Missouri Baptist Foundation died June 9 at The Baptist Home in Ozark.

He retired from the Foundation post in 1978 after 16 years. On two separate occasions, Nelson served as interim executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention. He also served as the Foundation’s interim executive director once after his retirement.

Tom Nelson

Nelson also served three churches as pastor: the First Baptist churches of Pinckneyville and Marion, Ill., and First Baptist of Jefferson City. He was interim pastor for more than 30 Baptist churches in Missouri.

Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 13, at the First Baptist Church, Jefferson City, with pastor Doyle Sager officiating. Graveside services and interment will be conducted at Hawthorn Memorial Gardens.

Visitation will be at Freeman Mortuary in Jefferson City from 4-7 p.m. Friday, June 12.

Nelson was born Jan. 16, 1913, in Hamilton, Miss., the second of seven children of Charles and T. Willie Nelson.

He was educated in Belmont (Miss.) High School, the University of Alabama and Southwestern Theological Seminary. He was awarded honorary doctorate degrees by William Jewell College and Southwest Baptist University.

A World War II veteran, Nelson served three years as a chaplain with service in the European theatre.

Nelson married Flora Sparks of Jasper, Ala., on Nov. 6, 1938. She preceded him in death on June 13, 2008, after more than 69 years of marriage. Survivors include three children, Jim Nelson and his wife, Sharon, of Jefferson City, Steve Nelson of Jefferson City and Jan Jackman and her husband, Scott, of Ozark; a brother, David A. Nelson and his wife, Jo, of Owensboro, Ky.; two grandchildren, Brent Jackman of Ozark and Kimberly Dunlap and her husband, Scott, of Joplin; two great granddaughters, twins Baylee and Brooklynn Jackman of Ozark; and a great grandson, Caedmon Dunlap of Joplin.

Besides his wife, Nelson was preceded in death by one son, John; two brothers, J.C. and Grant; and three sisters, T. Willie, Grace and Mary Louise.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Baptist Home, P.O. Box 87, Ironton, Mo. 63650. Unless otherwise designated, gifts will go to the Baptist House of Mercy, a home for the destitute elderly in Belarus.