Cover photo for Thomas James Liles's Obituary
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Thomas James Liles

d. September 29, 2020

Thomas “Tom” James Liles, age 89, died in his home the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020 in the company of his wife of 63 years, Halleen Liles and family. Born in Kingston Springs, TN, he lived a full life enjoying his family, nature, fishing, and most of all, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. For all who had the pleasure of knowing him, he was recognized for his sharp mind, quick retorts, mechanical and financial acuity, staunch support for family and dedication to the welfare and progress of the town that he loved more than any other, Kingston Springs. Tom attended Kingston Springs Elementary School, Bellevue High School and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His ease with numbers and natural mechanical ability set him on a path of working in these two trades – financial and construction. With the start of the Korean War, Tom signed up to serve in the United States Air Force on 7/5/51. He completed Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base (San Antonio), received additional training at Lowry AFB in CO and then served most of his time in the service overseas at Rhein-Main Air Base in Frankfort, Germany. There he served with the 363 rd Tactical Recon Wing as a Staff Sargent and E5 Senior Distributions Clerk handling payroll for the pilots. During his years of service Tom received three medals – Occupation, National Defense Service and Good Conduct with no time lost for his entire time in the military. He was discharged from Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina in 1955 then joined the USAF Reserves for four years. During his stay in Europe Tom visited multiple countries, bier gardens, castles and forests and made lifelong friends. Upon returning to Kingston Springs after serving overseas he met the woman he would fall in love with - - Halleen Liles, a curvaceous brunette visitor from Oak Ridge, TN. They married in Ringgold, GA on July 6, 1957 and attended college together at UT, Knoxville. His first job after college was in the drafting department with the Nashville Bridge Company followed by a position in the contracts department where he helped negotiate the pricing and construction of bridges built throughout the South. Tom viewed Kingston Springs, home to generations of Liles before him, as the most beautiful place on Earth. On Labor Day in 1960 he broke ground on the home he designed and built on a bluff overlooking the Harpeth River. There, he and his wife, raised three daughters. Tom supported the local community and schools. Active with the Kingston Springs Community Club, he worked to improve the local park (then located across the railroad tracks left off Main Street); helped organize the town's annual 4 th of July celebrations; and even helped the Kingston Springs Volunteer Fire Department get its first truck through his connections with the Nashville Bridge Company. Kingston Springs, a bedroom community of Nashville, did not have a strong sales tax base. Tom negotiated the sale of property owned by the city to bring to his hometown Boyce Steel, a steel fabricating business. The company, for which he served as Vice President, provided many jobs to young adults in the community. He negotiated contracts with Opryland (for the steel located at the Gaylord Opry) and later worked as project manager for R.C. Matthews and other construction companies, where he helped manage the construction of several buildings in Metro Center as well as the Municipal Auditorium and historic properties on Second Avenue in Nashville. Tom is preceded in death by his father and mother, Hillard Leslie Liles and Ollie Banie West, sisters, Hilda Mai and Betty Jean and brother Jack West in addition to a beloved nephew, Bobby Ray Liles. He is survived by his wife, Halleen Liles, three daughters, Leslie Ann Liles Allen (Ralph), Susan Michelle “Shelley” Liles McBurney, and Cathy Renee Liles Frisch (Randy), in addition to eight grandchildren–Amber Williams, Jeremy Hinton, Tabitha Knight, Devin Norcross, Joshua Hinton, Taylor Sullivan, Rachel Morris and James St. Laurent, as well as 12 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. A private family graveside service is planned at the Liles Cemetery on Sunday, October 4 at 1:00 p.m. followed by visitation at his home at 1435 West Kingston Springs Road, Kingston Springs, TN at 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to be made to either the KSES Thomas Liles Academic Fund, or to the KSES PTO Outdoor Classroom Fund. Donations can be mailed to KSES, 166 W. Kingston Springs Rd, Kingston Springs, TN 37082.
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