LIMA — Mr. Thomas Kenneth Nelson, age 89, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at approximately 3:34 am. at Lima Memorial Health Systems.
He was born on November 18, 1924 to Tom and Bessie Bonita Buchanan Nelson in Lima, Ohio. Both parents preceded him in death.
He was united in holy matrimony to Ora Ethel Stockton on June 14, 1951 in Glasgow, KY.
Mr. Nelson attended Whittier Elementary School and South High School where he graduated in 1943. He was on the track team during his high school years, running the quarter mile race. Upon graduation he was immediately drafted into the United States Army and served from June 1943 to March 1946. He was stationed in Okinawa, Saipan and the South Pacific. He spent four months in Biloxi, Mississippi where he was trained as a diesel mechanic; he was also trained as a United States Air Force Engineer. He retired as a staff sergeant. After returning from the Army he enrolled at Kentucky State College in Frankfort, Kentucky as a mathematics major. He graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics. When he returned to Lima he worked at the Lima Tank Plant for one year.
In 1952, he took the civil service exam to become a police officer; having made the highest score of all participants he was hired. He spent several years "walking the beat", a foot patrolman. His primary "beat" at that time was the downtown section; he made many friends during this time who still remain loyal to him. During the later years, he rode a cruiser patrolling various sections of the city. Having been born and raised in South Lima, he was well respected by the residents there. He patrolled that area a number of years with his long-time cruiser "buddy" Louis Hamilton. During the 60's, when the mood of the country was not favorable toward police officers, he maintained the respect of the Black population and played a significant role in keeping the peace. He served as a detective for short while; in July of 1973 he was appointed to the position of Lieutenant. He kept current and recent trends pertaining to Law Enforcement and served as instructor in many basic training schools. He has been commended for his manner in sometime difficult situations and praised for extending common courtesy to inmates and potential inmates.
Mr. Nelson had a love for traveling, fishing and gardening. He used his skills of woodworking by refinishing much of the furniture from the old church. He was a member of the Fourth Street Missionary Baptist Church. He was baptized by Rev. E. Dorsey Broyles in 1958 and was ordained as a deacon by Rev. Broyles 1966. He served as a teacher of teenage boys for a short while and financial chairman for over 50 years. He was a member of the churches Brotherhood serving as secretary. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, a life member of NAACP, Bradfield Center and Samuel W. Clark Masonic Lodge where he was a 32 degree mason.
He leaves to cherish his precious memory his wife, Ethel of 62 years, one son, Kerry L. Nelson and his wife Patience of Chicago, IL, two grandsons, Joshua and Noah Nelson, great nieces, Margaret Simmons of Cincinnati, Ohio and a host of friends.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Margaret Nichols and a niece, Maxine Washington.
Services will be held on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at Fourth Street Missionary Baptist Church with, Pastor Earnest Stephens, Jr., officiating.
Visitation/Wake services will be held on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 9:00 am. until time of services at the Church.
Interment: Woodlawn Cemetery
Arrangements Entrusted to: Jones-Clark Funeral Home, Inc.
Condolences can be made at: www.jonesclarkfuneralhome.com