Tom Branson started Thermo King of Knoxville in 1971 in a one bay facility located on Chipman Street not far from downtown Knoxville. He along with his brother, Sercy Branson, were the only technicians. They quickly established a reputation of hard work, honesty, loyalty and outstanding service. Whether it was an owner operator or large trucking company, Tom's opinion and work were always well regarded.
Tom was a native of the Gibbs community in Knoxville, the son of Eva and Alfred Branson, and graduated from Gibbs High School in 1960. He joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Berlin when the Wall was constructed. After serving in the Army he went to Nebraska and graduated from the Universal Trade School in Omaha in 1967 and the Thermo King Long Term Training Program in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1968.
In September 1992, Thermo King of Knoxville moved to its current location on Strawberry Plains Pike just off I-40. The new facility has a spacious shop with four 125' bays, office area, parts area, rebuild shop and over 20 employees on staff.
His two sons, Wesley and Troy, are still continuing on with his legacy and currently operate Thermo King of Knoxville with the same high standards and quality service that was instilled in them by their father Tom.
A greater man would be hard to find. Tom was a true friend to many. He cared about people and it showed in his daily dealings, personally and professionally. He was always willing to lend a hand to most anyone and in any way possible. Tom's integrity caused an intense loyalty toward him from his family, employees and customers. To say that Tom will be missed by one and all is a gross understatement.
One of Tom's favorite things was to hear the Bellamy Brothers sing and many time he sponsored their concerts at Thermo King for Customer Appreciation Day. They always played a favorite song for him, "Old Hippie". So, we bid farewell Old Hippie till we meet again. You will always be loved and missed.