Mr. Samuel Benton Basham of Viola passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022.
He died peacefully and quickly after suffering complications from a recent stroke. He had lived a long, full, life of 86 years, 4 months, and 19 days. He was born May 8, 1936.
He grew up a poor, hardworking, farm boy - the third in line of four brothers. His early schooling included Viola Elementary School, and Warren County High School.
Later he earned a B.S. Degree in Biology and a B.S. Degree in Nursing from Southern Adventist University.
After graduating college he spent three Years in Duluth Minn. at St Mary’s School of Anesthesia, studying to become a CRNA. He then worked for many years as the primary anesthetist in Dunlap and Pikeville before going on to form a sizeable anesthesia group of MDs and CRNAs known as “Southeast Anesthesia Associates.” SAA provided many years of anesthesia coverage for many hospitals in the Chattanooga area and surrounding regions.
Benton possessed a strong passion, intense drive and keen interest for several lifelong pursuits. Birding was his primary hobby which saw him be the first to pass 700 species seen in the U.S. during one year. He also attained the largest lifetime list of species seen in the U.S., back in the 1980s.
His list remained the highest, with over 850 total species seen, for over 25 years.
His second strongest passion was music, primarily country music, which he enjoyed immensely, even to the day of his dying.
Survivors include his former wife of 33 years, Peggy A.”Dietrich” Basham; daughter, Julie “Basham” Holman; son, Jeff Basham; and beloved granddaughter, Lexi “Holman” Triplett.
Mr. Basham was preceded in death by his mother and father, Stacy May “Thaxton” Basham and Robert Lee Basham; sister, Annie Jane Basham; and brothers, Joe-Bob Basham, Frank Basham and Raymond Basham.
Mr. Basham was cremated on Sept. 30. His ashes will be buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Viola Tennessee, with a small graveside service.
The time and date is yet to be announced.
(McMinnville, Tenn.) Oct. 5, 2022