August 21, 2017
Thomas Paul “Coach Tom” Pemberton, age 93, of Rockwood, Tennessee, passed away on August 20, 2017. Tom was born in Junction City, Kentucky on July 6, 1924 and moved with his family to Rockwood in 1927. He graduated from Rockwood High School in 1943 and served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II, fighting in the Battle of Okinawa, as a result of which he was awarded two purple hearts. After returning from the war and obtaining his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he returned to Rockwood where he taught school as well as coaching football and basketball. He later worked for the State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and ultimately retired from the State Department of Education. After retiring, he continued to be active in a number of local organizations and charitable endeavors. He was subsequently honored by the Roane County School System when it named the Rockwood High School Stadium “Tom Pemberton Stadium.”
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mildred Lynn “Steve” Pemberton, his parents Caywood and Robbie Pemberton, and his brothers Bill, Bert, C.W., Jack and Jim Pemberton. He is survived by his children, Tom (Laura) Pemberton, Tina Pemberton, and Mike (Dana) Pemberton, all of Rockwood, and his grandchildren, Jill (Trent) Williams of Cookeville, Tennessee, Matthew Pemberton of New Orleans, La., Robyn Pemberton of Nashville, Tennessee, Luke Faust of Rockwood, and Michael Pemberton of Rockwood. He is also survived by his great-grandchildren Emma, Addie, and Molly Ross Williams of Cookeville and Abigail Cofer Faust of Rockwood. He is also survived by his sisters Peggy Edwards of Knoxville and Ann Griesinger of Lexington, Kentucky, and his brother John Pemberton of Rockwood. In addition, Coach Tom leaves a whole host of friends, former players, and students in Rockwood, Roane County, Tennessee and many other areas. Chief among those are the three living members of the Class of 1943, J. Polk Cooley, Dr. George Shacklett, and Gid Tedder.
Arrangements are as Follows: As a long time member and former Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church,the family will receive friends at First Baptist Church in Rockwood from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 26, 2017, with a Celebration of Life to follow at 5:00 p.m., the Rev. Jim Hutson officiating.
Full military Honors will be conducted by the United States Marine Corps Honor Guard. Interment will be at a later date in aPrivate family service.
Flowers are welcome; however Coach Tom requested that contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church Benevolence Fund, c/o P.O. Box 54, Rockwood, Tennessee.
Evans Mortuary is serving the family of Coach Tom Pemberton.