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Thomas Kenton, 83 - July 23, 2008


Former Gothenburg resident Thomas J. “Tom” Kenton, 83, of Lexington died at his home on Thursday, July 17, 2008, near Lexington.
Services were held Monday, July 21, at the First Chirstian Church of Lexington with the Rev. Larry Viter officiating. Military honors were conducted at the church following the ceremony. Inurnment will be held at a later date at Mt. Hope Cemetery at Sargent.
Kenton was born on Feb. 23, 1925, at Springfield, MO, to Joseph Wheeler and Mary Christine (Callison) Kenton. When he was 8 years old, the family moved to Jefferson City, MO, from Branson.
He was a graduate of Jefferson City High School and received a full ride scholarship to play football at Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau.
During his first term in college, World War II broke out, and he left to serve his country in the United States Navy. He served from May of 1943 to December of 1945.
While on leave in the Navy, he married Betty Lou Burns, who he met in San Diego while stationed there. The couple were married Aug. 23, 1945, at San Diego. That same day, he departed with his Navy squadron and she returned to Nebraska.
Following his discharge, he returned to Nebraska and moved with his wife to Omaha. They then moved to Kansas City where he continued his education.
Kenton and his wife resided at Wahoo, Phillipsburg, KS, and Sargent. In 1962, they moved to Gothenburg where they lived until moving to Lexington in 2006.
He had spent his entire career in the cooperative system, beginning working for Consumers Cooperative Association in Kansas City in 1949. From there, he was employed with four local cooperatives in the Midwest before being named as general manager of the Farmland Service Coop Inc. at Gothenburg in 1962.
Kenton was recognized for his management ability by receiving the Dryer Award for Excellence in Management from Farmland Industries and the Omaha Bank for Cooperatives’ Cultivate a Manager Award. Eleven of his former staff members were employed as managers of local cooperatives.
?Always active in the communities where he lived, he was a member of the VFW, American Legion and various other community organizations.
He will always be remembered as a gentleman who cared very much for his loving family as a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, according to family members.
Kenton was preceded in death by: his parents, Joseph and Mary; his wife, Betty Lou in 2006; a brother, Joe Kenton; an infant daughter, Kimberly Sue in 1960.
Survivors include: a daughter, Kay (Bob) Brass of Lexington; two sons—Tom (Karla) Kenton of Holdrege and Chuck (Tammy) Kenton of Lexington; seven grandchildren—Matt (Stacy) Brass of Lincoln, Anthony Brass of Lexington, Jeff (Carol) Kenton of Edgar, Katie Kenton of Denver, CO, Joe Kenton of Holdrege, and Kody and Kolin Kenton of Lexington; five great-grandchildren—Alexis Johnson, Kenton Brass, Aiden Brass, Tyson Kenton and Dylan Kenton; a sister, Minerva Elliott of Salisbury, MO; sister-in-law, Nancy Kenton of Chicago, IL; brother-in-law, Harlow Burns of Omaha.
Memorials are suggested to the Tri-County Hospital Hospice and the Lexington Volunteer Fire Department.
Online condolences may be directed to the family at reynoldslovefuneralhome.com.

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