Thomas Bennett III
Plant a Tree
Plant a Tree

Obituary of Thomas Clifton Bennett III


Thomas Clifton Bennett III, 78, of Doniphan, Missouri, died Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center in Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

Mr. Bennett was the son of Thomas C. Bennett, Jr. (Norma Jean) of Doniphan, Missouri and Doris Bausch Grantham (Bill) of Mississippi and New Jersey, both of whom preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by his grandson, Evan Bennett of Byhalia, Mississippi. He was additionally preceded in death by his wife, Jeannie, in 2015. Tom was born October 19, 1940 in Memphis, Tennessee where he was raised. There he met and married Betty Cox Tolcher in 1957 with whom he had four (4) children; Joan Fitzpatrick of Memphis, Tennessee; Thomas Clifton Bennett IV (Carole) of Memphis, Tennessee; Tony Bennett (Linda) of Byhalia, Mississippi; and Lisa Logan (Mark) of Hernando, Mississippi. Tom’s other children include Brian Bennett and Jennifer Bennett, both of Memphis, Tennessee and step son, Matthew Scruggs of Florida.  He met and married Kathy Sellers Bennett in 1979 and they moved to Doniphan, Missouri in 1981 where Tom lived until his passing. She (Dr. Kat Bowie) survives him and resides in Kansas City, Missouri. Tom also leaves behind three (3) sisters; Carolyn Helbig of New Jersey, Cheryl MaCahill of Arizona, and Lois (Dan) Leroux of Holt’s Summit, Missouri. He leaves behind ten (10) grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and many loving nieces and nephews and friends. Tom had a way of making friends into family and the family would especially like to mention Tom’s best friend and “Honorary Brother” Bob Veer and his son, Joseph, for their love and loyalty.

Tom was an accomplished musician and played piano and keyboards. He went to the Deschazo College of Music in Memphis beginning at the age of 6 years old and was offered a scholarship to the prestigious Juilliard College of Music. Tom chose to stay in Memphis playing the blues and soul music that he loved and performed so well. He began playing professionally at the age of 13 years old and was a studio musician for decades at various recording studios in Memphis including Sonic Recording, Sun Records, and STAX Records. He played on hundreds of records including the #1 hit in 1960 “Ghee Whiz” by Carla Thomas and “Mountain of Love” by Harold Dorman. He played with many notable musicians throughout his career. His first band included Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn, and “Red” West. He played hundreds of venues and entertained literally hundreds of thousands of people throughout his life. Tom didn’t just play music, Tom was music and anyone who ever heard him was touched by the soulfulness of both his playing and his voice. His musicianship was admired by all. However, his kindness and compassion for others was one of his most endearing traits. Tom never met a stranger and would give the shirt off of his back to anyone in need. He was greatly loved and will be even more greatly missed.

Funeral services will be at Edwards Funeral Home Friday October 26, 2018 at 1:00 p.m.






Share Your Memory of