Obituaries - May 20, 2009

Thomas Joseph Tomich, Jr.

1944 - 2009

Mr. Tomich passed on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 while at the Denton Regional Medical Center, in Denton, Texas. He was born in San Pedro, Calif., on May 11, 1944 to Thomas Joseph Tomich, Sr., and Frances Antoinette Tomich. His father was a fisherman aboard The Progress, while his mother worked at Sunset Photo and managed the home during her husband's long fishing expeditions. Mr. Tomich graduated from Long Beach State with a degree in criminology and went on to serve his country in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army.

Tom met Leslie Louise Littleton in San Pedro in 1966 and married her seven months later in Santa Barbara, Calif. The couple began a globe-trotting life together, living in Europe, Asia and many Army bases across the United States. After receiving his Army commission at Fort Benning, Georgia, he held positions at Fort Bliss, Texas; Wildflecken, Germany; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Gordon, Georgia; Camp Zama, Japan; and finally, Fort Gillem, Georgia, where he retired as a chief warrant officer (CW4) after a 28-year service career. The couple recently retired to the Lake Kiowa, Texas, community, after living in Jonesboro for over 25 years.

Tom enjoyed developing strength and confidence in young people. He was involved in youth sports throughout his active duty in the Army. He coached football, basketball, and baseball and even officiated soccer and baseball. He and Leslie were also actively involved in their military communities, be it in the U.S. or abroad.

During his retirement, Tom had a passion for Atlanta Braves baseball, rock-n-roll music, golf, and following the football program of The College of William & Mary, where his son played center. He could be found at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (later Turner Field) cheering on his beloved Braves, putting for birdie at Lake Spivey Golf Course, or dancing in the aisles at a classic rock-n-roll concert. His love for good times, food, drink, family and friends was only surpassed by his love for Leslie, who was with him during every inning and every dance.

Mr. Tomich is survived by his wife of 43 years, Leslie; his son and daughter-in-law, Tony and Liane Tomich of Thousand Oaks, Calif.; three grandchildren, Maddy, Hunter and Greyson; as well as an older sister, Marie Veler of San Pedro, Calif.

Benjamin Paul Brannon, Sr.

Mr. Benjamin Paul Brannon, Sr., age 89, of Jonesboro passed away May 18, 2009 at Southwest Christian Hospice. He was the son of the late Frances Hudson Brannon and Luther O. Brannon.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Virginia T. Brannon; sons, Ben (Judy) Brannon, Tom (Paula) Brannon, Gary (Wanda) Brannon; daughter, Barbara (Charles) Hester; 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

He attended Lee Street Grammar, Brown Junior High and Tech High. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II aboard the U.S.S. Mustin who received the Presidential Citation for participation in major operations and 13 battle stars. Mr. Brannon was eligible for eight battle stars, the Marshalls, Gilberts, Solomons Carolines, Guam, Leyte, Okinawa and the Philippines.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, May 21, at 10:30 a.m., in the chapel of Ford-Stewart Funeral Home. Pastor Tony Sullivan and Pastor Brooks Everett will officiate. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, May 20, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to: Southwest Christian Care, 7225 Lester Road, Union City, Ga., 30291. Ford-Stewart Funeral Home, Inc., Jonesboro/Stockbridge (770) 210-2700. www.fordstewartfuneralhome.com.

Ralph E. Holden

Ralph E. Holden, age 92, of Fayetteville passed away May 18, 2009.

Funeral services will be conducted on Thursday, May 21, at 2 p.m., in Horis A. Ward Tara Chapel, with the Rev. Joe Mauthe officiating. Interment will follow in Sherwood Memorial Park Cemetery.

A long-time resident of Fayette County, Ralph Holden was a manager at Biltmore Dairies.

He is survived by two sons, Donnie Holden (Loretta) of Jonesboro, and Bob Holden (Tammy) of Fayetteville; 12 children; 13 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; one brother, Roy Holden of Virginia; one sister, Hazel Albis of Lenoir, N.C.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Thelma Holden; one son, Bill Holden; two sisters, Kathleen Campbell and Marie Hollifield; one brother, Hugh Lee Holden.

The family will receive friends Wednesday, May 20, from 5 to 9 p.m., at the funeral home.

Horis A. Ward, Tara Chapel (770) 471-7171.