Cover photo for Tommy Lee Brannon's Obituary
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Tommy Lee Brannon

July 15, 1949 — November 18, 2022

Tommy Lee Brannon

 

Tommy Lee Brannon

Born – July 15, 1949, Conway, AR

Died - November 18, 2022

Tommy was born in Conway, AR on July 15, 1949, to father Elbert James Brannon and mother Rethal Marie Brannon. His grandfather Otis played a major part in these early years and taught Tommy many life lessons he carried with him throughout his days..

Marie eventually remarried and was raised by Lewis Thompson. They settled in Omaha, NE, and graduated from Papillion High School, where he was a mischief maker and rabble rouser.  He met his first wife Karen Jean Gatewood when she worked at a small grocery store. He claimed to have gone in the store way too often just to get a chance to talk to her.

His work ethic and desire to take care of his family led to him enlisting in the Navy at age 18. He saw the world from a battleship and a communication ship, Japan and Australia being the most memorable places. He was even part of the Apollo 11 recovery communications on the ship USS Annapolis.

After his service in Vietnam, he returned to Omaha, where Tom owned Firestone gas station. When Karen was in labor with Beau, he laughingly drove her to the hospital in the Firestone tow truck. After Karens passing, he remarried and became father to two more wonderful children, Seth and Monica Bergers. They moved to Arkansas and settled in a rural area outside of Benton. Over the years he was a soccer coach, Boy Scout leader, and supportive father in all his children’s various activities and projects.

Tom wore many hats over the years and had an amazing work ethic. He believed if you are going to do it, do it right and do it well. Eventually he worked and retired from Coors Tech where he met Rhonda, who he remained married to for 20 happy, laughter filled years.

Tom was a unique blend of quick-witted humor along with shoot-you-straight, brutal honesty. You had to be on your toes around Tom because his mischievous glint never faded, and at times was hard to tell if he was being serious or playing. Tom loved music and loved to sing along to his favorite tunes. He enjoyed grilling and cooking, but didn’t know how to make a small meal as evidenced by his huge pots of chili or pounds of meat he would pull from the grill. He enjoyed golf, football, and had a crafty way with repairing things. Though he seemed rough, it was in the best kind of way. He never shied away telling his children he loved and was proud of them. He had a caring heart and deep love for animals. Never one for technology, Tom had an old-school way and liked to teach life lessons by doing and showing, as well as telling you exactly what his opinion was about things. He always spoke his truth.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Karen, and parents. He is survived by his wife Rhonda Nell Brannon, sister Linda, two other siblings, children Beau, Seth, and Monica, children by marriage Candy, Joey, and Caleb, 10 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren.

To know Tom was to love him. He will be deeply missed but his memory will live on in so many ways. He leaves behind a wonderful legacy of guidance, humor, and especially love.

Arrangements entrusted to Smith-Benton Funeral Home. Online guestbook: www.SmithFamilyCares.com.

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