Thomas James Fern, Jr., age 78, of Pleasant Hill, Tennessee passed away March 12, 2018 after a courageous battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife of 35 years: Marion; sons: Thomas Fern and Michael Fern; daughter: Debra Mealy; stepsons: Greg and Steven Kunis; stepdaughter: Jo Hannah Brunnelle; brothers: Judson, Robert, and John; sisters: Linda Rowe and Darlene Eychner; 5 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; and many loving nieces and nephews. In 1956, Tom enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served 26-1/2 years, as both Aircraft Electronics Technician and Aircraft Armament Systems Manager. During his military career, his history of outstanding performance and leadership led to his promotion to the highest enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant. His numerous duty assignments around the world included, Bitburg Air Base and Hahn Air Base, West Germany; Korat Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand; Da Nang Air Base, Saigon, South Vietnam; Wheelus Air Base, Tripoli, Libya; and many bases in the U.S. including, Plattsburg AFB, NY: Nellis AFB, Las Vegas, NV; MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL; Langley AFB, Hampton, VA; and George AFB, Victorville, CA. His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Medal (with Palm), and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. Family will receive friends Sunday, March 18, 2018 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Crossville Memorial Funeral Home and Crematory, 2653 N. Main St., Crossville. A celebration of life will also be held Sunday following visitation.