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 Thomas Alexis Nerney

Thomas Alexis Nerney

Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, USA
Death 28 Jul 1933 (aged 72)
San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
Burial San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Plot Main Building
Memorial ID 101020333 · View Source
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(The following Obituary was kindly submitted by a Findagrave member.)

Rear Adm. Thomas A. Nerney, founder of the California naval militia, originator of the custom of strewing Memorial Day flowers over ocean waves for navy dead, and a resident of San Diego since 1885, died yesterday at his home, 402 Date Street.

Admiral Neerney was given his commission by Gov. James Rolph in 1931, in recognition of his services in organizing Company A of the California naval militia here Sept. 12, 1891.

He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, May 8, 1861. He suffered a stroke about seven years ago, but was not confined to his home until last week. Recently he attended the honorary birthday party given to Jack Dodge, who was his partner in the real estate business here in early days. Death was caused by a heart ailment.

Admiral Nerney came to San Diego as city editor of the San Diego Californian, a short-lived newspaper, and later was employed by the California Southern Railway Company. For more than 40 years he was representative of a Cincinnati manufacturer, retiring about eight years ago. Before organizing the naval militia he was captain of the old San Diego guard unit, and with his transfer to interest to the navy he worked his way through various ranks of the naval militia. He served as lieutenant commander and state executive officer before he retired in 1903.

As a member of the Memorial Day committee in San Francisco in 1902 he chartered a small boat to honor navy dead by scattering flowers on the ocean. This observance has become customary in later years. Admiral Nerney served as the first secretary of the Cuyamaca Club. He was a charter member of the local lodge of Elks; a member of many Masonic bodies, and of several other fraternal organizations. A number of veterans and patriotic organizations claim him as an honorary member, and he held a life membership in the San Francisco Press Club.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later by the Johnson-Saum Company, after instructions have been received from his two sons, Hamlin Welden and Albert A. Nerney, of Los Angeles. He is survived also by a brother, Peter F. Nerney, of San Francisco, and a nephew, Charles R. Weldon, San Diego.

Family Members



Plaque reads Rear Admiral




  • Created by: W Piety
  • Added: 20 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 101020333
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Alexis Nerney (8 May 1861–28 Jul 1933), Find A Grave Memorial no. 101020333, citing San Francisco Columbarium, San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA ; Maintained by W Piety (contributor 47945985) .