Obituary: Benjamin B. Blount Jr., March 30, 1939 to Nov. 10, 2017
Benjamin B. Blount Jr. passed away on Friday, Nov. 10, at Hospice Atlanta after a lengthy illness due to a hereditary bleeding disorder.
Born to Benjamin and Golos Blount, he grew up in Wrightsville, Georgia, where he was valedictorian and a four-letter athlete at Wrightsville High School. As a young boy, he started a successful wholesale fish-bait business, shipping red wigglers all over the southeast.
He started his career with Oxford Industries as an Auburn University co-op student in industrial engineering. Ben was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Georgia National Guard and U.S. Army Infantry and graduated as top cadet at the Georgia Military Institute and was awarded the Gen. Hearn Trophy. After serving in various engineering and training positions with Oxford, he was promoted to manufacturing manager during an exciting growth period for Oxford.
Ben subsequently became president of Oxford’s Lanier Clothes division and menswear group manager. He was then named corporate group vice president. He then left Oxford to become president of Gulf and Western’s Kaiser Roth Apparel group in New York City.
After his first retirement, Ben returned home to Atlanta, where he met, according to Ben, “the love of his life and center of his soul” in 1987 and married her in 1991. He rejoined Oxford as executive vice president of planning and development and was elected to Oxford’s Board of Directors and held the position of chief financial officer, positions he retired from in 2004.
Retirement proved successful and joyous. Ben and Debbie enjoyed 30 years of love and laughter together and were constantly at each other’s side. Ben spent his years of retirement in his Vail home, lovingly referring it to “the retirement home,” enjoying his passions of golf and skiing with Debbie. He volunteered on Vail Mountain as a member of the Community Guest Service Team. He trained to be a ski instructor and enjoyed teaching part time in Lionshead.
Ben even tried his hand at caddying for Debbie — the only job from which he was ever fired — but briefly got that job back and served as Debbie’s caddie in a USGA Championship and then hung up his caddie uniform for good. He was a 50-year wine enthusiast and student of wine, although he referred to himself as a “wino.”
Ben volunteered with Big Brothers of Atlanta, served on the Dean’s Advisory Board at the Auburn University School of Human Sciences. Ben served on the Board of Directors for the Kellwood Co., the technical advisory committee for the American Apparel Manufacturer’s Association and president of the Atlanta Ski Club. He was a member of the Cherokee Town and Country Club Atlanta, The Club at Cordillera and the Game Creek Club in Vail. He was also a member of the Commanderie De Bordeaux, The Chevalier du Tastevin and the Chain des Rotisseurs.
Ben is survived by his loving wife, Debbie (Seidel), and his beloved dog, SamBeau, the most misbehaved dog he ever trained and loved. Ben is also survived by his sister Fay Hendricks and his in-laws Anthony and Loraine Seidel, of Atlanta. A special thank-you to the loving staff of Hospice Atlanta who so perfectly cared for Ben these past three months.
A celebration of Ben’s life was held at St. John UMC with a reception at Cherokee Country Club on Tuesday, Nov. 14. Friends will celebrate Ben’s life in Vail at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Ben’s memory may be sent to curehht.org or Hospice Atlanta, 1244 Park Vista Drive, Atlanta, GA 30319.
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