Nelson Vinson, who served as Tombigbee EC’s general counsel from 1974-2014, died on July 19, just six days shy of his 94th birthday.
Vinson grew up on a small farm in rural Franklin County, and from an early age learned the value of hard work and an appreciation for rural life. His college career at the University of Alabama was cut short in 1942 to join the Army; with the help of the GI Bill, he returned to school and earned a law degree in 1949.
He was eager to represent the people who shared his rural upbringing. He became the attorney for the cooperative and took only a modest retainer for his services, believing he could do more good that way for the people of northwest Alabama.
Vinson was honored with AREA’s Pathfinder Award in 2016, which is presented for extraordinary service on behalf of electric cooperatives of Alabama. The award is given to a person whose life has had a profound and lasting effect on the foundations of the rural electrification program in Alabama.
In Tombigbee’s October pages, president and CEO Steve Foshee paid tribute to Vinson: “His dedication, his wit, his legal mind and many other areas made him one of the very best.”