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BENTON, SAMUEL TONY (SAM) - age 91, went to be with his Savior, Jesus Christ, on Thursday, May 15th, 2014. Samuel was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, graduated from Chattanooga Central High School and the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga with a BS degree in 1947. He and his sweetheart, Bettye, were married in 1945 and they raised 4 children during their 68 year marriage. He retired as a chemical engineer from Union Carbide/Martin Marietta after 40 plus years of service at the K-25 and Y-12 facilities in Oak Ridge. During those years he received numerous patents for his achievements in their nuclear division. He also worked for Union Carbide at the Simpsonville, South Carolina, location for several years in the 1960's before moving back to Knoxville to resume his work for them in Oak Ridge. After two years of college studies, Sam joined the Army and served as a medic in WW2 with the 110th Infantry, 28th Division in Europe. He was award medals for the American Campaign, WW2, the European African Middle Eastern Campaign, as well as the Bronze Star. Upon his honorable discharge, he completed his college studies. Sam was a former member of Broadway Baptist Church, and a longtime member of Wallace Memorial Baptist Church. He served as chairman of deacons, sat on numerous committees, taught Sunday school, and was once director of the Intermediate Sunday School Department. He loved flying, logging hundreds of hours in various single engine planes over the years. He often took one or more of his children with him on the weekends to Island Home or Powell Airport to climb into the seats of a Piper or Cessna to explore Knoxville and surrounding cities from the air. Sam was also an avid gardener growing beans, cucumbers, beets, onions, lettuce, and most of all tomatoes, which he loved sharing with all the neighbors. It was a common sight in the summer to see him walking down the street with a bag of tomatoes and cucumbers for people who lived nearby. He was preceded in death by his mother, Pearl Smith Benton; his father, Ralph Anderson Benton, Sr.; his brother, Ralph Anderson Benton, Jr.; and his sister, Iris Benton Strauss. He leaves behind his wife, Bettye Collins Benton; son, Bruce Anderson Benton; daughters, Rebecca Odom (Dennis), Jane Bailey-Smith (Jim), Toni Benton-Reagan; grandchildren, Allison Bailey Rice, Adam Bailey, Joel Odom, Kelsie Reagan, Cody Reagan; great grandchildren, Peyton Rice, Bailey Rice, and Aubree Leigh Reagan; as well numerous nephews, nieces and cousins. Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 19th, at Wallace Memorial Baptist Church, with funeral service immediately following with Dr. Mike Boyd and Dr. James McCluskey officiating. Burial, with full military honors, will be private on Tuesday. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made in Sam's honor to the Wounded Warrior Project at, or the East Tennessee Veterans Honor Guard at PO Box 27558, Knoxville, TN 37927. Online condolences can be extended at

Funeral Home
Rose Mortuary - Knoxville
1421 N. BROADWAY  Knoxville, TN 37917
(865) 523-2121
Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from May 17 to May 18, 2014
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