David Pickens
Sunday
15
May

Visitation

12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Sunday, May 15, 2022
Central Funeral Home, LLC
2812 Hillsboro Highway
Manchester, Tennessee, United States
(931) 723-7774
Sunday
15
May

Funeral Service

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Sunday, May 15, 2022
Central Funeral Home, LLC
2812 Hillsboro Highway
Manchester, Tennessee, United States
(931) 723-7774

Obituary of David "Tom" Pickens

Manchester, Tennessee - David Hanley Pickens (AKA Tom) was born December 5, 1936, in Savannah, TN, to Kenneth Andrew and Mamie (Wilkerson) Pickens. He was born smack dab in the middle of 8 siblings: Dean, Lorene, Ruby, Ann, Bob, Lucy, and Calvin. They grew up in Tyronza, Arkansas, in his words “poor as dirt,” in a time when horse-drawn carriages were almost as common as cars, and he could buy a soda pop for 5 cents. He told us about how his family picked cotton to make a living, and although it was a hard life, what they lacked in money, they more than made up for with love. The stories he told of his childhood were often reminiscent of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Of course, we all heard about how he walked to school, sometimes in the snow, sometimes uphill, and then sometimes both uphill and in the snow at the same time. When he became a young man, he moved to Indiana to find work and a better life. While there he met the love of his life, queen of his heart, and angel to all that meet her, Wilma. They say when you know, you know, and he knew she was the one. They married September 20, 1957, after a lengthy courtship of 3 months. Together they went on to have four boys, Donnie, Billy, Larry, and Jimmie. A man of many hats, he became a fisherman, gardener, carpenter, handyman, hunter, baseball coach, and all-around superhero. As for his day job, he was an industrial worker, first for Interoyle and later for American Seating, where he made many life-long friends. Just when most couples whose children were adults would be looking forward to an empty nest and doing fun couple things, Tom and Wilma adopted a daughter named Christine (Chrissy) in 1984 when she was just three years old. Later, when strangers would ask her where she got her red hair from, Tom, with his jet-black hair, would tell her to say that she got it from him. In 1985, they moved to Manchester where he built the home they still live in today. There, he raised animals, planted a thriving garden every year, fished every time he got the chance, dabbled in deer hunting, attended church with his wife, Wilma, at The Tullahoma Church of God of Prophecy, and never missed his daughter’s softball games. He became a grandpa or papa depending on who you ask to Amber (Jason), Madison, Russell, Josh, Jamison (Lindsey), Shane (Penny), Dustin, Alexis, Brianna, and Lucas and a great-grandpa to Kylee, Jaythan, Aubriana, Paisley, and Annabelle. Eventually, he retired…well, sort of. He became the official neighborhood lawn mower and handyman. He also worked part-time at the New Union Convenience Center, and he spent a lot of his spare time at the Senior Citizen Center socializing with his many friends and playing pool. Throughout the years, he participated in many pool tournaments where he won numerous trophies which he loved to show off to everyone who came to visit. As a lifelong fan of Chicago sports teams, specifically the Cubs, Bears, and the Fighting Irish, he was delighted to see the Cubs win the World Series Championship in 2016. When he was not piddling around “The Farm”, you could often find him in front of his television watching a sport, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, or anything with John Wayne in it. Occasionally, he would cut a rug and start singing a tune, usually “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain” or “Green Grass Grew All Around.” He loved old country and bluegrass music and went to many Bluegrass festivals throughout his life. He enjoyed going back to where he grew up in Arkansas occasionally with his brother and best friend Bob. Once, while visiting his family’s cemetery, the group he came with stumbled into a nest of seed ticks which was a miserable experience that he often brought up. Throughout the years, he lost many loved ones including his parents Ken and Mamie, his siblings Dean, Lorene, Ruby, Ann, Bob, and Lucy, his grandson Dustin, and his sons Larry and Jimmie. On May 12, 2022, he took his last breath after a heroic battle with cancer at age 85. He was surrounded by his loving family. His wife, Wilma, his children, Donnie, Billy, and Chrissy, his grandchildren, his great grandchildren, and special feline friend, Frank. Throughout the months after his diagnosis, we were visited and called by so many family and friends – thank you for that. He often said that in this life, it was the people and the relationships he had that mattered the most, everything else was just the icing on the cake. You can find him somewhere in the pink and orange hues of the rising sun, the smell of fresh cut grass and morning dew, and perhaps, when you see a fluttering hummingbird, he will be there too. Visitation with the family will be held Sunday, May 15, 2022, from 12noon until 2:00pm at Central Funeral Home in Manchester, TN, with funeral services immediately following visitation at 2:00pm. Burial will follow in Ragsdale Cemetery in Coffee County. Central Funeral Home is honored to serve the Pickens family, 931-723-7774, centralfuneralhome.com
Share Your Memory of
David