On a cold winter night Jan. 31, 1929, the doctor of Santa Anna, Texas, in Coleman County, was called to the community of Shields, Texas, 20 miles south of Santa Anna to tend the birth of Bengene Tatum to John Howell and Teenie (Lee) Tatum. Bengene finally showed up at 10:45 a.m. Feb. 1, 1929. Ben joined the Tatum tribe of Odis, Ellis, Walker and Emma Ruth. In 1936, Martha Ann joined the group.
On June 2, 2013, at 3:20 a.m., Ben left this life to join heaven’s great cloud of witnesses.
Funeral services will be held at Oakridge Church of Christ Wednesday, June 5, 2013, at 2 p.m. with interment in the DFW National Cemetery on Thursday, June 6, at 2:15 p.m. Visitation will be held Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Acorn Acres or a charity of your choice.
Ben is survived by his wife, Azalee Edmondson Tatum; son, Barry and wife, Mary Lois Poynor Tatum, and their children, Elissa Marietta and Blaine Poynor, of Willow Park; daughter, Gena Lee Tatum, of LaPorte, Texas; sisters, Ruth Tatum Williams, of Belton, Texas, and Martha Ann Tatum Allen, of Santa Anna, Texas; and a host of nephews and nieces. Ben was preceded in death by a son, Steve Randall.
Ben will also be remembered by a remnant of his 1946 graduating classmates who called him Bengene. The following fall, Ben volunteered for the Army after his mother had to sign him up and send him to basic training in Fort Bragg, NC. At this point, Bengene changed his name to Ben Gene so that he would have a middle initial for his enlistment. On Christmas Day, he was on a ship to Korea where he spent the next 18 months. The Cummins’ mechanics called him “Goose” Tatum. He was respected by his classmates as well as his Cummins family. Ben will also be remembered by his current Oak Ridge Church of Christ family and the friends and family from the Rosedale, Cooper Street, Rochelle Road and Baker Blvd Churches of Christ; also, the members of the Weatherford North Main Church of Christ, who brought the service to him at the Weatherford Health Care Center. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Galbreaith Pickard Funeral Chapel