Mr. Thomas C. Tommy Lea, 81, of Lebanon died Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, at the University Medical Center. Born Aug. 7, 1930, he was the son of the late Robert Harry Lea Sr. and Ione Haley Lea.
A 1948 graduate of Lebanon High School where he played football, baseball and basketball, Mr. Lea attended Tennessee Tech University where he played baseball.
A veteran of the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, he was a former member of the Jaycees and the Lebanon Lions Club. He owned and operated American Plumbing and Electric, Leas Gas Company and was co-founder of the Hunters Point Golf Course. An avid sports fan, he was one of the founding coaches of Babe Ruth Baseball in Lebanon.
Mr. Lea was a member of First Baptist Church for 67 years, he served as a deacon and was a member of the choir for 49 years. He was presented the Lifetime Christian Service Award at First Baptist in 2005. He took an active part in the weekly sing-a-long at Elm Croft where he had made his home the past several years and was a charter member of the West Haven Baptist Church.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Gwyndolen Love Robison Lea; brother Harry Lea Jr. Survivors include: three children: Debbie (Wayne) Seger, Sandra Trager and Bob Lea; five grandchildren: Austin and Kimbel Lea, David and Lindsey Trager and Haley Seger.
Services were conducted Sunday afternoon, Jan. 29, 2012, at the First Baptist Church with Rev. Don McElroy and Rev. Jonathon Richerson officiating.
Honorary pallbearers: Bill Bentley, Rev. Bob Evans, Dr. Morris Ferguson, Jim Lancaster, Jerry Triplett, Carroll Whitener, Clayton Lewis and Bobby Johnson. Active pallbearers: David Trager, Austin Lea, Buzz Crockett, Jim Robison, Joel Barnes, Jeff Ford.
Private interment was held Monday, Jan. 30 at Wilson County Memorial Gardens.
The family requests in lieu of flowers memorials be made to the Gideons International or Joseph Storehouse.
Lebanon's Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home, was in charge of arrangements.