Thomas Edward “Ed” Nelson, Sr. was called home by the Lord, Thursday, February 28, 2019 at the Hospice House of Laurens County, surrounded by his loving family and the melodious sounds of his favorite hymns.

He was a native of Laurens County, and was born on December 26, 1926, to the late John Lewis and Minnie Pulley Nelson.

Mr. Nelson was a member of Calvary Baptist Church where he attended faithfully and worked. In his later years, he attended Langston Baptist Church with family. He proudly served his country as a medic during WWII. He was a hardworking and humble man who led by example and supported his family. Following retirement from Torrington, he was a tireless and selfless volunteer, assisting farms and dairies and providing care for older siblings. With his best friends, Truman Leopard and Jimmy Revis, he built wheelchair ramps, rebuilt homes in areas of disaster and trimmed trees for Calvary Cemetery while in his 80s.

He was a simple man and a friend to all, never one to complain and content with what life had given him. He loved the outdoors, gospel and country music, caring for his four-legged friends, and being called the Sweet Potato Man, following in his “Pa’s” footsteps who passed when he was six years old.

His initials spelled TEN, and he was the 10th of 12 siblings. He loved his family and he respected his father, his mother and the Lord.

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 5:16).

There is no better way to describe the life of Mr. Nelson -- a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend to all for over nine decades. Humble, simple, hard-working – the last of his siblings, a man with many stories to share, lessons to learn and teach, a giver of hugs and a testament to the words of his favorite hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”

In his manner of complimenting others, Mr. Nelson was a “good ’un.”

He is survived by his two children, Jean Perna and Thomas Edward “Eddie” Nelson, Jr.; his two grandchildren, Jason Nelson and Jennifer Harris (Anthony); his two great-grandchildren, Alyssa Nelson and Annaley Harris; and many nieces and nephews.

He is predeceased by his wife, Thelma Russ Nelson, his sisters, Bernice Nelson, Catherine Nelson Adair, Gladys Nelson Penland, Belle Nelson Fallaw, and his brothers, Joel Nelson, Henry Nelson, Lawrence Nelson, Augustus Nelson, Earl Nelson, Ralph Nelson and Bob Nelson.

Graveside services were held on Saturday, March 2, at 11 a.m., at Pinelawn Memory Gardens. A Celebration of Ed’s life, a life well lived, will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 16, at Langston Baptist Church, 1474 Langston Church Rd., Clinton.

Memorials may be made to Calvary Baptist Church, 702 N. Sloan St., Clinton, S.C. 29325; Langston Baptist Church, 1609 Cattle Dr., Laurens, S.C. 29360; or to Hospice of Laurens County, P.O. Box 178, Clinton, S.C. 29325.

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