Thomas Steven Raines died on April 3, 2019, peacefully at home surrounded by family after a long illness.

Tom was born in Omaha on Feb. 20, 1948, and grew up in North Platte, graduating from North Platte High School in 1966. He attended Iowa State University, where he met his wife, Debbie, on a blind date. Tom graduated with a B.S. in civil engineering and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy in November 1970. Highlights of his Navy career included serving as Chief Engineer on the commissioning crew of the USS Hewitt (DD-966) and as Battleship Design Program Manager at Long Beach Naval Shipyard. Tom also attended Naval Postgraduate School, earning a masters degree in mechanical engineering in 1981. He retired from the Navy in 1992 with the rank of commander.

He returned to Iowa State University, graduating with a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering (minor in Chemical Engineering) in 1996. He and his family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1996 and he lived there the rest of his life. While in Knoxville, he worked for Bioten, Foster Wheeler Environmental, and Alstom Power Environmental Control Systems in various engineering positions.

Above all else, Tom was a devoted disciple of Christ. He deeply loved his family and was committed to serving his country and community. Tom was a longtime member of Christ Covenant Church PCA, where he led a men’s small group Bible study. He spent much of his time serving others at Knox Area Rescue Ministries (KARM).

After retirement, he enjoyed traveling, photography, working in his yard, bird watching, and following his beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers. His most cherished times were spent with his children and grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Max M. and Raynette Raines; and sister, Susan Raines.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Deborah C. Raines; son, Joshua (Trisha) Raines; daughter Rebecca (Christopher) King; 11 grandchildren; and brothers, Dr. Lawrence Raines (Dixie) and Dr. Edward Raines.

Memorials are suggested to Knox Area Rescue Ministries (; Reach Beyond Ministries (; and Christ Covenant Church (PCA) Faith Promise fund (

Visitation will be from 4-6 p.m. Monday, April 22, at Christ Covenant Church, 12915 Kingston Pike, in Farragut, Tennesee. Celebration of life will follow visitation. Burial, with military honors, will be on April 24, at Fort McPherson National Cemetery near Maxwell, Nebraska, where his parents are buried.

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