OBITUARY

Thomas Melvin Bengtson

August 30, 1946July 5, 2019
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Mr. Thomas Melvin (Tom) Bengtson of Marietta died Friday, July 5, 2019, at Tranquility at Kennesaw Mountain. Born on August 30, 1946, in Waterloo, IA, to Rose Bengtson and the late Bernard Bengtson, Tom, like his father, excelled in athletics and baseball, in particular. He grew up in Fayetteville, NC, and played catcher for both Fayetteville High School and Lenoir-Rhyne University. After graduating college, Tom enlisted in the Navy's flight training program in 1969. Not long after, however, he embarked upon an insurance career, and at an Aetna office in Wilson, he met the soon-to-be love of his life, Kay Horne. They were married on September 1, 1973, in Wilson, and Tom's work in insurance would soon take them all over the U.S. After a few years in Asheville, NC, they moved to Corpus Christi, TX, and from there to Louisville, KY. Next came Cincinnati, OH, and then St. Louis, MO, before the family, now larger, finally landed in Marietta, in 1991. Tom and Kay made life-long friends at each stop along the way, and while diligently working to sharpen his skills as a golfer, fisherman and high school athletics official, Tom also found time to earn his CPCU license and was recognized for his outstanding contributions in the insurance industry. Tom was Vice President of Claims at Cotton States Insurance when Governor Roy Barnes appointed him to the Georgia State Board of Registration of Used Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers, and Tom retired from Cotton States (and insurance) in 2005. He soon thereafter made plans to travel the world with his sweetheart by his side (and golf clubs within reach). Ever the consummate family man, however, Tom never missed an opportunity to spend time with his children. "Dad" was their youth baseball coach, chauffeur, cameraman and biggest fan, and to his grandchildren, "PaPa" was never too busy to listen to a story or share a laugh or the occasional batting technique. No summer for Tom was complete without a visit or two to the beach where he rose early to bodysurf, relax and keep an eye on the upcoming college football season, with special emphasis on a certain team in Athens. Tom grew up in the Lutheran Church and served on the Church Council at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in St. Louis. He was most currently active and a member at Due West United Methodist Church in Marietta. Tom is survived by his wife, Kay Bengtson; mother, Rose Bengtson, of Lumberton, NC; children, Pamela (Robert) Billingsley of Dallas, Jamie (David) Cox of Roswell, and Thomas E. (Lori) Bengtson of Marietta; siblings, Ann (David) Andress of Kensington, MD, and Edward (Gwen) Bengtson of Lumberton, NC; grandchildren, Malarie Funke, Jonathan Kroeger, Makenzie Williams, Emily Cox, John Cox and Fritz Bengtson; and three great-grandchildren. The family will receive friends at the Winkenhofer Funeral Home in Kennesaw on Friday, July 12, from 6:00 to 8:30 pm, and Tom's memorial service will be held Saturday, July 13, at 2:00 pm, at Due West United Methodist Church in Marietta. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to www.multiplesystematrophy.org

Services

  • Visitation Friday, July 12, 2019
  • Memorial Service Saturday, July 13, 2019

Memories

Thomas Melvin Bengtson

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Dick Smith

July 9, 2019

Tom and I were fraternity brothers and roommates at Lenoir-Rhyne College. We stayed close friends and were fans of the Georgia Bulldawgs football team. A favorite memory was watching the Georgia games together and texting back and forth our emotions and opinions about needed adjustments on offense and/defense - we were self- appointed experts in both. Unfortunately, most of out ideas never made it to the sidelines, explaining many heartbreaking losses including the last two against the Evil Empire (aka, Alabama). I will certainly miss those days, but remember my old friend fondly as I watch future games.

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