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Surnames: Nelson, O'Neil, Harris
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The Spectrum, 12/28/04
ST. GEORGE, UT -- Lt. Col. Thomas O'Neil Nelson (USAF), 79, passed away peacefully,
surrounded by his family on Christmas Day, December 25, 2004 from cancer. He was born
January 30, 1925 in Montpelier, Idaho to Nolan James Nelson and his wife, Jennie
He grew up in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho where he played football, basketball and was in the
school band. After graduation and while World War II was being fought, he volunteered and
was accepted into the United States Army Air Corps as a flying cadet. He earned his wings
in December 1944. He served his country honorably for 27 years during which time he was
stationed in numerous places such as Panama, Newfoundland, Pakistan and Hawaii. In 1948 he
was sent to Germany where he flew 148 missions on the Berlin Airlift.
Tom married Marlu Harris on September 2, 1950 and was later sealed for all eternity to his
wife and children in the Hawaii Temple. He was an active member of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints and served willingly in various callings; one being a beloved
and inspiring scoutmaster. Tom and Marlu also served two full-time missions. The first at
the Los Angeles Temple Visitors Center, the second at the St. George Temple Visitors
Center and Historical Sites.
The thing that brought Tom the greatest joy was serving God, family, friends and country.
He also loved to travel and he and Marlu traveled extensively to Asia, the Mediterranean,
South Pacific, and the Caribbean. They especially enjoyed going on cruises.
He is survived by his wife; his son, Thomas Nolan (Dawn) Nelson of Louisville, Kentucky;
his daughter, Virginia (John) Jenkins of Idaho Falls, Idaho; and ten loving grandchildren.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents and his older sister, Gayle.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, December 29, 10:30 a.m., Bloomington Hills LDS
10th Ward Chapel, 1222 E. Brigham Rd. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, December 28, 6-8
p.m., Metcalf Mortuary, 300 W. St. George Blvd. and Wednesday, 9:30-10:15 a.m., prior to
services at the chapel. Interment will be in the St. George City Cemetery under the
direction of Metcalf Mortuary (435) 673-4221. In lieu of flowers the family requests
donations be made to the American Cancer Society. Condolences may be sent through the
Metcalf Web site at www.metcalfmortuary.com
Originally published Tuesday, December 28, 2004