Tom Dossett

January 16, 1933 ~ October 4, 2020 (age 87)


Thomas David Dossett passed away in Kingsport, Tennessee, on October 4, 2020 at the age of 87.  Mr. Dossett was born on January 16, 1933 and was predeceased by his parents, Dr. Burgin E. Dossett, Sr., President Emeritus of East Tennessee State University, and Nell Jennings Dossett of Jonesborough, Tennessee, as well as his brother, Dr. Burgin E. Dossett, Jr. and son-in-law, Sam Preston.

He is survived by his wife, Veda Rose Hensley Dossett of Kingsport; two daughters, Veda Hensley Puglia of Chapel Hill, NC and Caroline Dossett Preston of Roswell, GA.; and two grandchildren, Nicholas Thomas Puglia and Amelia Hope Preston.  Mr. Dossett is also survived by three sisters, Julia Webb of Knoxville, Tennessee, Eugenia Matthews of Somerville, Tennessee, and Anne Blevins of Franklin, Tennessee.  Additional survivors include his very close relatives, Frank Dossett and Nannie Dossett Greene of LaFollette, TN and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Mr. Dossett received his B.S. Degree from East Tennessee State University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Tennessee in 1955.  He was admitted to the Tennessee Bar that same year and entered the U.S. Army where he served in the Judge Advocate General Corps from 1955 until 1959, rising to the rank of Captain.  He served in the Third Army, the 101st Airborne Division, the 11th Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and in the 24th Infantry Division in Augsburg, Germany.  While in the 24th Infantry Division, he was Chief of Military Justice.

Following his release from the Army, he entered the practice of law in Kingsport, joining the late Bill Todd to form the firm Todd & Dossett where he practiced for over sixty years as a respected trial lawyer in the Tri-Cities area, compassionately representing his clients.  He was a member of the Kingsport Bar Association, American Bar Association, a Charter Member of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, and First Presbyterian Church.  He served on many regional and statewide boards including the East Tennessee Historical Society and the Netherland Inn Association in Kingsport.   He and his wife were extremely interested in American History with particular focus on the history of Tennessee.  The Dossetts contributed furniture, artifacts and numerous historical documents to the Netherland Inn Association, the Ramsey House in Knoxville, the East Tennessee Historical Museum in Knoxville, and the Historical Museum of New Orleans.

Mr. Dossett was a dear friend to many.  He was passionate about his family, the Law and his special interests which included the study and collection of history, art, poetry, and great literature. Perhaps most importantly, he was a great storyteller with a keen wit.  He always had an eye for the finer things in life…most especially his dear Veda.

It was Mr. Dossett’s wishes to be cremated.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the family will have a private Celebration of Life service with Dr. Willam M. Shelton officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 100 W. Church Circle, Kingsport, TN  37660 or The Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast TN, 1020 Jericho Drive, Kingsport, TN  37663

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