Thomas Green Benge
After 86 years filled with joy and love, Thomas Green Benge passed peacefully from this life on February 7, 2012 to be reunited with his wife of 59 years, Ruth Elaine, and his grandson, Blake Justiss Bingman. He was much loved by his two daughters, Donna Powers and her husband, Richard, and Paula Bingman and her husband, Brian, as well as his grandchildren and their spouses, Annie and Steve Bilby, Rick and Bonnie Powers, Matt and Lindsey Powers, and Rebecca and Chad Selle. His great-grandchildren, Blake, Avery, Parker, Merritt, Ellie, Owen, Paxton and Madilyn were the joy of his last years. They all adored their “Pa,” and he adored them.
After graduating from Hardin Simmons University, he joined the United States Marine Corp and spent time in Guam in WWII. He married Ruth Elaine Justiss and went to work for the Insurance Company of North America from which he would retire many years later.
He was a great fisherman who enjoyed nothing more than spending his day at a high mountain lake with “Mere” competing tirelessly at his side. He loved to perform highly exaggerated renditions of “My, You’re Ugly! Gee, You’re Ugly,” “Shoo Fly Pie,” and “Those Were the Days.” He loved westerns, gangster movies, and Dixieland jazz music. He could play dominos like a pro, but there has never been anyone less skilled with electronic devices. 86 years is a long time. That’s more than 31,000 days. In that time, he loved many people and was loved in return. He experienced far more happiness than sadness and left those who love him a lifetime of fond memories. He departed this world exactly how he wanted to – quickly and with dignity – and he left a legacy that continues with all of us. When we count our blessings, they are not one less because he is gone, they are hundreds more because he lived.
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