US Air Force

Tommy Lee Nelson

January 29, 1959 ~ January 15, 2021 (age 61)

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Tommy Lee Nelson of Hachita, NM passed away surrounded by his loving family in the early morning hours of January 15, 2021 at the age of 61 in Deming, NM.

He is survived by his wife, Debbie Jo (DJ) Nelson of Deming, and their four children. Tyler Nelson of Lubbock, TX, Aleisha Nelson and her husband Chip Phillips of Silver City, NM, Darren Jones of Deming, NM, and David and his wife Lindsay Jones of Cedar Crest, NM. He also leaves behind four grandchildren, Haleigh, Kymberly, Zachary and Layla, and his sister Stacey Holland, of Murray, UT.

Tom was born in Dallas, TX on January 29, 1959, the son of Marvin and Louise Nelson of Fresno, CA. He graduated from Wellsville High school in Kansas. Then, he followed in his father’s footsteps, joining the United States Air Force at the age of 17, achieving the rank of Technical Sergeant. During his ten years of service, he received the following accolades: Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with One Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Overseas Long Tour Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Good Conduct Medal with Two Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster. He would fondly reminisce and tell stories about his escapades with fellow service members, and particularly held dear his time living in Germany while serving.

His passions included travelling, New Mexico history, geology, and exploring ghost towns. He was respected and consulted by professionals in the field of geology for many years for his wealth of knowledge in this area. He found purpose in serving his community in a variety of ways, including as Volunteer Fire Chief, EMS, and serving on the Hachita water board. He enjoyed sharing his enthusiasm for service by teaching classes for EMT and firefighting certification and had a true passion for life-long learning. 

One of the most impactful and happiest moments in his life was finding his soul mate, DJ. He frequently stated that his greatest source of peace and the thing that made his life complete was creating a family with her. Words cannot describe the overwhelming pride he had talking about each of his four children and their accomplishments. His love for his family was undeniable. 

Tom was full of wild stories and unbelievable hilarity and truly led a life fit for a book. He always had a big smile and a loud laugh, which brought joy to those around him. He was fiercely loyal, had an incredible sense of integrity, spoke his mind, and always stood for what he felt was right. He will be most remembered for his sense of humor and commitment to helping others. When people called, Tom answered.

Due to current restrictions, services will be at a later date. Tributes may be sent to the family at: 4600 E Pine St. Deming NM 88030.

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