Thomas J. Nelson

October 2, 1937 - March 3, 2019

Thomas “Tom” J. Nelson, 81 of Altoona passed away on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at Mayo Clinic Health Systems – Eau Claire.

Thomas was born to Orwell and Loretta (Smith) Nelson on October 2, 1937 in Lake Hallie. He went to Eau Claire Highschool and graduated from University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in 1955. Tom was united in marriage to his loving wife Judy in April of 1960, who proceeded him in death in March of 1996. He was in the Air Force for a short time and served in the U.S. National Guard until his retirement as Major Thomas James Nelson. Tom worked at Social Security as a Claims Representative until his retirement. During his retirement he spent time volunteering at the Lake Hallie Sportsman’s Club where he helped with many events such as the ice fishing contest, tube float, putting in docks, chili cookoffs and many more. He was a longtime member of St. John’s Lutheran Church. Tom enjoyed hunting, snowmobiling, camping, boating, and exploring the woods. He loved talking and telling stories to those around him but most of all he enjoyed spending time with his family.

Thomas is survived by his children Susan (Randy) Ball and Mark Nelson; grandchildren: Thomas, Steven, William and Michael Nelson; great-grandchildren: Kayden, Allie, Dillon, Hannah, Makayla, and Kynlee; and brother Danny Nelson. He is further survived by many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and family.

Thomas was preceded in death by his wife Judy, parents, mother-in-law Lois Cornell, brother Gerald (Carol) Nelson, and brother-in-law James Cornell.

Funeral services will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Friday, March 8, 2019 at 11:00 am with Pastor Christine Emerson officiating. Visitation will be held on Thursday at Smith Funeral Chapel from 5:00 to 7:00 and at Church on Friday one hour prior to service. Burial will take place at Rest Haven Cemetery.

  1. Dear Susan and family,
    My heart is hurting for all of you. I am sending love, sympathy and prayers. Tom was like my brother and I loved him very much. I was so happy that David and I got to spend 4 days in his home with him a couple years ago. He will be missed by all those who had the honor and pleasure of knowing him. I know I will miss him.
    Love you all, Aunt Sue, Cousin Sue

    - Susan Highfill

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