Kenneth Wendell Tatum
Kenneth Wendell Tatum, a loving husband, father, and papaw, peacefully passed away at the age of 83 in the comfort of his own home late Friday evening. He was comforted by his beloved wife Bertha Elrod Tatum, along with several family members.
Kenneth met Bertha, the love of his life, in 1961, at a high school football game. From that moment, there was an immediate bond and devotion that spanned over 60 years. Kenneth always had an incredible work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit, which led him to establish E&T Converters, now a leading textiles company in Northwest Georgia. Over the course of the next 50 years, he built a flourishing family business serving Dalton’s most well known carpet and flooring companies and others across the United States. Until his passing, Kenneth served as the chief executive officer of E&T, working with his wife Bertha and son, Jeffery. Kenneth was very proud to work alongside his son Jeffery, president of E&T, who has been leading the company for a number of years, greatly expanding it into other new industries, including lawn and garden, and growing the company to around 75 employees.
Above all, Kenneth was a devoted family man and most kindhearted. His wife, two sons, daughter-in-laws, and five grandchildren held a special place in his heart, and they were always the focus of his attention and affection. Throughout their years together, Kenneth and Bertha enjoyed numerous memorable road trips. In addition to special times with his family, Kenneth was an avid sports fan, supporting both the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Falcons through ups and downs. Whether with family or friends, Kenneth was a joy to be around and the life of the party, telling new jokes and stories that always brought smiles and laughter. While family was always first, Kenneth had a number of hobbies, such as his passion for antique cars, NASCAR racing, card games, bowling, and traveling to car shows and sporting events. While Kenneth shared special times with many friends, Kenneth and Bertha were especially close with Larry and Janet Oxford. Larry was like a brother to Kenneth and they spent hours together with their hot rods and being cut ups. Kenneth had an unwavering love for Jesus Christ and was devoted to his church, Rock Bridge, where he and Bertha rarely missed a service and actively supported the church throughout the years.
Kenneth is survived by his beloved wife, Bertha, their two sons, Tony Tatum (Elizabeth Gray Tatum) and Jeffery Tatum (Katie Wilson Tatum), as well as his cherished grandchildren, Parker Tatum, Gray Tatum, Emma Tatum, Wilson Tatum, and Lucy Tatum. He is also survived by his sister, Veda Tatum Nuckolls, numerous in-laws, nieces, nephews, and longtime employees of E&T Converters, all of whom held a special place in his heart. He was preceded in death by his parents, Elic Reuben Tatum and Eula Beatrice Wolfe, both of Tunnel Hill, Georgia, as well as four siblings.
A visitation will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 11 a.m. at Rock Bridge Community Church (Wink Theater location), followed by a service and celebration of life at 1 p.m. at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to Rock Bridge Community Church.