Thomas Elrod, Sr.



Thomas A. Elrod, Sr., 93, of Belle, passed away Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at the Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City.

He was born February 10, 1930, on the Bent Elrod Homestead in Maries County which was established in 1840, a son to the late Allen Boney and Annie Belle (Whalen) Elrod. Annie passed away 10 days after giving birth to Tom. Allen remarried later to Zillah Martha Backues and she raised Tom as her own. Zillah preceded Tom in death.

Tom was a 1947 graduate of Belle High School. Thomas proudly served his country in the U.S. Marine Corp from 1952–60. He came from a long line of family members that served in the armed forces dating back to the revolutionary war.

June 14, 1952, he was united in marriage to Anna Belle Stockton at the home of her parents near Belle. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in June, 2022. Anna Belle survives at their home in Belle.

Tom was an active member of the Liberty Church of Christ where he served as a deacon and served on the board for Liberty and Union Hill cemeteries. Tom loved kids and kids loved him. He was always giving gum and candy to the children and they would seek him out if they knew he was around. He was a very hard worker. Tom operated heavy equipment from 1954–78 before embarking on a truck driving career until 1990. Tom choose not to retire at this point in his life and went back to working heavy equipment in his business, Custom Dozing, and finally retired in 2017, at the age of 87, although he did do a couple of jobs from time to time. He was always happiest when working, but in retirement, he enjoyed gardening with Anna Belle and spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Tom will be missed greatly by his family, friends, and those that knew and loved him.

He was preceded in death by parents, Allen and Annie; siblings, Leonard and Billie Elrod, Mildred and John Murdock, Wink and Venita Elrod, and LaVaughn Zimmer; mother and father-in-law, Joseph and Maymie (Siegler) Stockton; and other in-laws, Sarah and Al Moran, Georgia Stockton, Ed and Lorna Stockton, and Jack Stockton.

Tom is survived by wife, Anna Belle; children, Thomas Allen Elrod, Jr., and wife Elaine of Rolla, Mary Louise Backes and husband Gary of Linn, James Ray Elrod and wife Bonnie of Belle, and Carol Ann Porter and husband Mark of Hardeeville, S.C.; grandchildren, Brandon Elrod and wife Emily, Jason Backes and wife Erin, Melissa Massman and husband Joe, Sophie Branson and husband Mitch, Noelle Brown and husband Kyle, and Sarah Elrod and husband to be Mason; great-grandchildren, Stuart, Leo, Arthur, and Tucker Massman, Izabella, Brayden, and Ryleigh Backes, and Wendy and Mason Branson; and in-laws, Marvin Zimmer and Walker and Oma Flood; as well many nieces, nephew, extended family members and friends.

Funeral Services were held Saturday, June 3, at Liberty Church of Christ. Interment was in the Union Hill Cemetery near Vienna.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to Union Hill Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the direction of Sassmann’s Chapel, Belle.