Thomas Hart Benton (Tom), 3:00 PM, Sunday, September 23, 2018

12-Sep-2018

Thomas Hart Benton (Tom) was born on August 20, 1925, to Alma Louise and Nathaniel Wise Benton in Springfield, Mo.  He and his younger brother, Sam, grew up six miles west of Springfield along Route 66.  He died on September 5, 2018.

He attended a nearby elementary school, Nichols.  His father drove them into Springfield to attend Jarrett Junior High and Springfield Senior High where he graduated in 1943.  He began his college career at Drury College but after a semester he volunteered for the Aviation Cadet Program of the Army Air Corps.  He was discharged in the fall of 1945 and returned to finish his Economics degree at Drury in 1947.

While at Drury, he worked in a retail men’s stores.  His first post graduate job was in Oklahoma City for Equitable Life Insurance in office training, then transferred to their Tulsa office.  In the spring of 1950, he and a partner opened a men’s furnishings shop in the Brook Theatre building in Brookside, in Tulsa.  Three years later he and another partner opened Bentworth, Ltd. In Utica Square.  In 1970 he closed that store and bought into a clothing store in Chandler, Ok, that he managed for five years.

During this time, he was introduced to Barbara and they were married on August 1, 1975.  One of Barbara’s conditions for marriage was that he join the Masonic Order.  He did as well as their beloved Order of the Eastern Star.  Tom traveled all over the world with Barbara and Eastern Star as well as being Worthy Grand Patron for the State of Oklahoma in 2001, The Hugs and Kisses family.

After their marriage, Tom moved to Norman where he bought income properties around the University of Oklahoma.  He also designed the house that he and Barbara have lived in most of their married life.

His family who preceded him in death, added a lot of history to the Benton name.  They were originally established in Lincolnshire, England. In 1731 they came from South Wales to North Carolina by ship, eventually settling in Missouri.  The original Thomas Hart Benton was the first U.S. Senator from Missouri.  Tom’s grandfather, M.E. Benton, was a U. S. Congressman.  His father, Nathaniel, received his Law Degree at Columbia University and was a three term Green County Prosecutor for Missouri.  His uncle, Thomas Hart Benton, was a famous muralist and artist.

Tom is survived by his wife, Barbara J. Benton, of the home and his children; Thomas H. Benton, Norman; Barbara C. Jones (Ty), Oklahoma City; Paula Sue Fernandez, Kingston.His grandchildren Ginger Benton, Norman; Will Fernandez (Jeri Kaye), Norman; Travis Fernandez, Moore; Alana Fernandez Barney (Robert), Nashville.  Brother Sam Benton (Ruth), Arvada, Co., and cousin Jessie Benton and husband Richie Guerin, Baja, Mexico. Nephew Sam Benton, Jr (Susie), Broomfield, CO., and Niece Laura Naccarato (Mark) all of Arvada. Co., as well as many wonderful friends.

The family has requested in lieu of flowers a memorial donation in Tom’s name be made to Oklahoma Grand Chapter of OES designated for Heart.The address is 1415 N. Walnut, Guthrie, OK 73044-2003.

The Memorial Service for Tom Benton will be held at St. Stephens United Methodist Church, on Sunday, September 23, at 3 pm. The address is 1801 W. Brooks, Norman.  Arrangements provided by the John M. Ireland Funeral Home & Chapel, Moore, OK.

 

 

 
 



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