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Thomas P. SAMFORD Obituary

Family-Placed Death Notice

SAMFORD, Thomas P. THOMAS P. SAMFORD Thomas Preston Samford, age 94, of Avondale Estates, GA, passed away on September 28, 2012. Tom was involved in the construction industry for almost six decades. He started as a waterboy at the age of ten, and went on to found his own company, T&B-Scottdale Contractors, Inc, from which he retired in 1986. During World War II, Tom was working on a defense project at Fort Bragg, NC when he met the love of his life, Corinne Whiting. They married on October 31, 1941, and relocated to various military construction projects. In 1943, while Tom was a superintendent on the Manhattan Project in Oakridge, TN, Tom and Corinne welcomed their first child, John Preston. In August of 1944, Tom joined the Navy. He served in the Pacific aboard LST-1050. After the war, Tom and Corinne moved to Pine Lake, GA, and had two more children, Pamela Jean and Thomas Avon. In 1950, he built a home in Avondale Estates, GA, and added three more children, William Aaron, Robert Alexander, and Betsy Jane. While Tom was building a family, he was also building for J.A. Jones Construction Company. Some of his projects were: apartments, dormitories at Georgia Tech, Murphy High School, the Montag Paper Plant, Plaza Park, the Fulton Federal Building, and the Lays Potato Chip Plant. In 1954, Tom started T&B Builders, Inc. in his home. As the business grew, they moved from shared offices, to an old home, and finally, to their own building. By 1958, Corinne joined him as secretary. In 1966, another company, Scottdale Contractors was formed which merged with T&B in 1976. During his career, Tom, a self-taught engineer, designed many innovative systems for the 200 plus projects completed by the company. As a member of the Associated General Contractors of Georgia since 1962, Tom served on various committees, on the Board of Directors, as Treasurer, First Vice-President, and then President in 1980-81. Tom also held positions in the National AGC. In this capacity, he was called upon to testify before the select sub-committee of the U.S. Senate on Small Business. He also shared his expertise by testifying before the Georgia State Legislature and other authorities regarding proposed ordinances and bills. In 1987, Tom was awarded the prestigious AGC "Skill, Integrity and Responsibility" Award. Tom was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Avondale Estates. He served as Sunday School teacher, Sunday School Superintendent, Deacon and member of many committees. Because of his love of music, Tom worked to secure a pipe organ for the church. He and Corinne made several trips to Connecticut to transport the pipes, and Tom redesigned the sanctuary to accommodate the organ. Tom showed his love of community by building a gazebo at Lake Avondale, and by helping his grandsons design and build a bridge there to honor his late son, John. Each Christmas, the community gathers for the annual Lighting of the Tree, when a "floating" Christmas tree designed by Tom is turned on at Lake Avondale. In 2010, Tom was honored for his military and community service by being named Grand Marshall of the Avondale Estates Fourth of July Parade. Tom and Corinne celebrated 70 years of marriage in October, 2011. Corinne wrote: "His heritage to his children wasn't words or possessions, but an unspoken treasure; the treasure of his example as a man and a father. Life doesn't come with an instruction book, that's why we have fathers." Tom was preceded in death by his son, John, grandsons Charlie Samford and Corey Samford, his sister Jane Price, and brother Bristow Samford. He is survived by his loving wife, Corinne, Avondale Estates, GA: sons Thomas (Dee) Samford. Marietta, GA, William Samford, Grayson, GA, Robert (Mary) Samford. Loganville, GA, daughters Pamela (Dwight) Dover, Waleska, GA, Betsy (Mike) Massey, Grayson, GA, and daughter-in-law, Gail Samford, Avondale Estates, GA. One brother, Dudley B. Samford, Atlanta, GA survives. He is also survived by fifteen grandchildren and eighteen great-grandchildren. The funeral service for Mr. Samford will be held 2 PM, Tuesday, October 2, 2012, at First Baptist Church of Avondale Estates, with Dr. Truett Gannon officiating. Interment with Military Honors will follow at Decatur Cemetery. The family has requested that donations in Tom's honor be made to The ALS Association, Suite 1050, 1275 K Street NW, Washington DC 20005 or Embracing Hospice, 2160 Fountain Ct, Snellville GA 30078. The family will receive friends 3-6 Sunday afternoon and 5-8 Monday evening at A. S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home and Crematory.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, 2012
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