Tom Edd's Story
Thomas Edward (Tom Edd) Wilson, 77, passed away suddenly on June 10, 2017, at his home on Signal Mountain at which time he immediately and joyfully entered into the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
He is survived by his treasured wife of 38 years, Barbara (Barby) Hendrick Wilson, and his three children of whom he was inordinately proud: Lisa (Pat) Poersch of Roswell, GA; Pamela Tuter of Murfreesboro, TN; and, Kathleen (Gene) Haun of Louisville, TN. He was blessed with seven grandchildren in Jake, Maggie and Sarah Poersch; Katy (Malachi) Goad and Kelly Pendergast; and Luke and Addie Haun; and two great-grandchildren, Liam and Adeline Pendergrast. He is also survived by two sisters: Sue Wilson Springfield of Jefferson City, TN, and Gail Wilson Kerley of Crossville, TN; and nephews and nieces Tex (Pam) Springfield of Jefferson City and their son Brian Hunt of Maryville; Jim "Bubba" (Felicia) Springfield of Jefferson City and their children Katlin and Macy; Steve (Terri) Kerley of Hendersonville, TN, and their children Samantha, Serra and Stefanie; and Kara (Gordon) Vanhoy of Crossville and their son Drew.
He was predeceased by his parents Cordell Hull Wilson and Edwin "Duckie" Wilson. He also leaves behind two beloved constant companions, rescue dogs Molly Mae and Oakley.
He was a longtime member of Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church where he was a member of the Open Door Sunday School Class. He was ordained an Elder in 2002.
A native of Crossville, TN, he graduated from Cumberland County High School in 1958, where, among a myriad of activities, he was Senior Class President and quarterback of the football team. He went on to graduate from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a BS in Accounting and from The Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta at the University of Tennessee. Following graduation, he began his professional career with Arthur Young, an international CPA firm. He subsequently spent forty years in the banking industry with Commerce Union Bank in Nashville as Senior Vice President; Cumberland County Bank in Crossville as President & CEO; Bank of America CEO in both Greeneville and Johnson City, TN, and retiring in 2002 as President of the East Tennessee Region of Bank of America in Chattanooga.
After retirement, then Mayor Bob Corker, called Tom Edd and convinced him to come out of retirement to head the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. What was supposed to be a short term post-retirement assignment turned into a full time job and a second retirement in 2013. In that position, he led an extensive restructuring of the Chamber with the results undergirding the successful recruitment of Volkswagen, Amazon and Alston, among many others, which brought thousands of jobs onto the workplace.
Tom Edd's distinguished career and civic involvement led him to lend his support to many endeavors around the state. Most recently, he served as co-chair of the Erlanger Children's Hospital Capital Campaign alongside his close friend, Grady Williams. As executive director of the Aegis Foundation, he was working closely with his much admired good friend Sheriff Jim Hammond in directing the non-profit Foundation that provides much needed financial support for law enforcement across Hamilton County. He was a member of Erlanger's Hospital Board of Trustees; SunTrust Bank Board of Directors; Bible in the School Board Member; The Economic Development Council, Urban Growth Joint Economic & Community Development Board; Mayor's Task Force on Renewal Communities; Enterprise South Development Board; Local Workforce Investment Board; University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Chancellor's Roundtable; Rail Authority Board; Advisory Board Member of the College of Engineering Computer Sciences Industrial Board; and, THRIVE.
Additionally, he served as Chairman of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera Association (1998-2000); Chairman of A Night to Remember Gala (1995); Director of the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors; Director of the Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise; Director of the Chattanooga Theatre Center; Director of Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy; Director of East Tennessee State University Foundation; Director of Chattanooga Parkridge Medical Center; Director of Invest in Children; Member of the National Folk Festival Steering Committee; Chair of the Siskin Star Night Gala (1999); Member of Tusculum College Board of Trustees; Member of University of Tennessee Knoxville Chancellor's Advisory Council for Enhancement (1997-'99); and Chairman of Siskin Possibilities Luncheon (2013).
He provided strong, competent leadership for Chattanooga's most significant fundraising efforts. He served as chairman of the Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga from 1996-'97 and served as chairman of their Fundraising Campaign in 1996 as well as chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee. In 2000, he led a robust United Way of Greater Chattanooga Fundraising Campaign which exceeded its stated goal. He served also as chairman of United Way's Board of Directors
The Boy Scouts of America held a special place in his heart. He served as Chairman of the Cherokee Area Council from 1995-'98 and also led their Friends of Scouting Campaign for several years. Tom Edd was an Eagle Scout and Order of the Arrow recipient in 1955. He was honored with the national Silver Beaver Award in 1997. Alongside that honor, he was named Eagle Class Honoree by the Cherokee Area Council in 1997. But perhaps the most meaningful recognition for him was when he was named a Distinguished Eagle Scout. This award is given to Eagle Scouts who have distinguished themselves on a national level, receiving recognition or eminence within their field and who have a strong record of voluntary service to their community. It is awarded on the recommendation of a committee of nationally known Distinguished Eagle Scouts and only about one percent of Eagle Scouts ever receive this designation.
There were four other significant recognitions that were very meaningful to him also. He received the Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga Distinguished Service Award in 2012. This award, which has been presented annually since 1922, is given in recognition of an individual's outstanding leadership and service to the community. He was named Chattanooga Manager of the Year in 2006. And, was recognized as the National Philanthropy Day Leadership Fundraiser of the Year in 1998, by the Southeastern Tennessee Chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives. Mayor Jon Kinsey designated May 5, 2000, "Tom Edd Wilson Day in Chattanooga" as an acknowledgement of his civic and cultural leadership.
A Service of the Resurrection will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2017, at 11 a.m., at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church, 612 James Boulevard, Signal Mountain, TN. The service will be led by Dr. William E. Dudley, Senior Pastor Emeritus; and Margaret Ferguson, Pastor of Congregational Care.
Memorial acknowledgments may be directed to Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church, 612 James Boulevard, Signal Mountain, TN 37377 to the attention of "The Good Samaritan Fund" or to the Erlanger Children's Hospital Believe Campaign, Erlanger Foundation, 975 East Third Street, Suite B-508, Chattanooga, TN 37403.
Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home & Crematory, Battlefield Parkway.
Published on June 13, 2017