Thomas Wilburn Beavers, age 86, died July 28, 2017, at the Wellmont Hospice House in Bristol, Tenn. with his daughter, Jamie, at his side. He had fought a long courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease for many years. “Wilburn” was the firstborn of Thomas Albert and Beulah Beavers on March 26, 1931, in Dallas, Ga. Siblings included brother, Don, whom he called “Pal” and baby sister, Betty. Wilburn was a bright student. He began working in the office of Akers Motor Lines in Atlanta at age 17. He was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army. He took advantage of his G.I. bill to earn a business degree from Georgia State University. He and his brother would marry sisters from Virginia. Wilburn married Nancy Keesee in 1955. They lived in a brick ranch built in part by Wilburn’s relatives. In this house, their daughters, Mary Jeane and Jamie, grew up. Wilburn continued to work as an office manager at Akers until it closed (and broke his heart) when Jamie was in college. He would work at other trucking companies before retiring. Wilburn was the son of a carpenter and like his dad was a handyman. Together they enjoyed working on lawnmowers. Neighborhood kids sometimes brought their bikes to him for free repairs. He loved shopping the main Atlanta Sears store for craftsman tools. He and the family were active members of Springdale Christian Church. Wilburn volunteered there as a Sunday School teacher, treasurer, deacon and even reluctantly took on the role of Pilot in a play Jamie directed. He had a garden at his nearby parent’s house. Eventually after his diagnosis of Parkinson’s, he and Nancy and Mary Jeane and dog, Patches moved to Bristol, Tenn., across the street from Jamie, her husband, Rob, and young daughter, Laura, who called him “Umpa.” She was the apple of his eye.
It was Wilburn’s wish to be cremated. There was no funeral at that time. But now in Heaven, he has recently been joined by Nancy, his wife of 62 years. His sister, Betty, suddenly joined him last year. His parents, nephew, Michal Peak, and several unborn grandbabies- one named after him) were already waiting in Heaven.
Survivors include his daughters, Mary Jeane and Jamie and husband, Rob, of the home; his granddaughter, Laura and husband, Tyler, of Bristol, Tenn.; and brother, Don Beavers of Rockford, Tenn.; his nieces, Bonnie, Carolyn, Donna, Becky and Ronda; and nephew, Mark.
Wilburn’s urn will be buried in the casket with wife, Nancy, in Saint James Lutheran Church Cemetery, 538 St. James Rd., Chilhowie, Va., with Frank Branson officiating.