Thomas “Tom” Priest, Jr., 87, of Pensacola, Florida (formerly Signal Mountain, TN) passed away on Tuesday, November 24th, 2020. Tom Priest was born on November 18, 1933, in Miami, FL, where he enjoyed athletics, especially playing football. Tom was recruited by and played for Robert “The General” Neyland at the University of Tennessee. He was teammates with Johnny Majors and played in the 1953 Cotton Bowl. Tom served as a graduate assistant coach on the 1956 Volunteer team that finished their season ranked #2 in the country. After spending a few years coaching, Tom changed careers to life insurance where he achieved the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation. His successful career required family relocations to Scottsdale, AZ, Fresno, CA, Dallas, TX and Chattanooga, TN. He was employed by Travelers Insurance, Provident, and Mid-Continent Life. While working and raising a family, Tom also served in the Army Reserves for 20 years and achieved the rank of Major. Tom’s favorite hobbies included: playing golf, watching sports (especially his alma mater), and attending his kids’ and grandkids’ activities, which gave him the most joy. Tom’s greatest attributes were his timely sense of humor, friendly spirit, and his dedication to supporting his family. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Priest, Sr. and Ethel Priest, and by his wife Kitty Ann Hardin Priest. Tom is survived by his wife, Patricia Priest, of Pensacola, FL, three children, Timothy (Brook) Priest of Chattanooga, TN, Kimberly (Mike) McKelvey of Milton, FL, and Gary (Robin) Priest of Signal Mtn., TN, grandchildren, Trevor, Taylor, Thomas, Meg, and Denver, and great grandchildren Sophia and Zoey. While living on Signal Mtn., Tom was a member of Red Bank Church of Christ. The family wishes memorial contributions to be made to the American Cancer Society. Visitation will be Wednesday, December 2, 2020, 11-12pm est. at Lane Funeral Home, 601 Ashland Terrace, Chattanooga TN. A graveside service will follow at 1pm at Chattanooga Memorial Park, 501 Memorial Drive Chattanooga, TN with Steve Lusk officiating. Arrangements entrusted to Lane Funeral Home ~ Ashland Terrace, 601 Ashland Terrace, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37415. (423) 877-3524 Lanefh.com
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