Counting My Blessings and Giving Thanks


Tom Purkey serves as Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association.


Counting My Blessings and Giving Thanks

by Tom Purkey, Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

This is the season that, in my mind, stands out as the most important time of the year. It’s a time that challenges and inspires each of us to remember how we’ve been blessed — a time of thanksgiving. And, of course, it’s immediately prior to the season of giftgiving.

Over the years, I have made a point of naming the things for which I’m thankful. So here I go, one more time:

I’m thankful for …

  • This wonderful country where we enjoy freedoms that are unimaginable to people in other nations.
  • The soldiers who are protecting us at this very moment, upholding the benefits we enjoy in this great country.
  • And this nation, formed on a foundation of principles that allow us to govern ourselves, and its leaders who represent those principles and provide needed services.

I’m thankful for …

  • My wife, who could have picked anyone else, but she picked me.
  • Our four wonderful children: Jonathan, Justin, Marc and Elizabeth.
  • Their sweet and caring spouses: Shana, Lisa, Leslie and Jeff.
  • And our grandchildren, each of whom we adore: Gracie, 8; Mary Kate, 6; Sarah, 5; Mason, 3; Jake, 1; and Sawyer, 7 months, and the one to come in December.

I’m thankful for …

  • My parents who, though they have already departed this world, left me with true direction about how this life should be lived.
  • And also my sisters, who knew and fostered my strengths and urged me to work on my weaknesses, leading me by example.

I’m thankful for …

  • My church, which has always been an important part of my life.
  • And all the people who make up my church family, who have encouraged me and inspired me over the years.

I’m thankful for …

  • My work experiences, which led me to the rural electric cooperative industry where I discovered that cooperative members are really just like family members!
  • And the wonderful opportunity to know the managers, board members and staff of the 23 electric cooperative systems across Tennessee and to realize and appreciate how dedicated they are in providing that vital, valuable service — electricity — to the people in their communities.

What a great life! I am so blessed, and for that, I am truly thankful.


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