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Thomas Noel Saffold

Staff Written Obituaries

Thomas Noel Saffold passed away on July 18, 2019. He died peacefully just weeks before his 91st birthday.  He was the only son of Thomas Reid Saffold and Nellie Miller Saffold.  He worked with his father on a dairy, raising cattle and drove the local school bus while attending Madison High School until graduation in 1945. He left Buckhead to attend North Georgia College in Dahlonega, enrolling in the R.O.T.C. program before transferring to the Georgia Institute of Technology.  He graduated in 1949 in the top 10 percent of his class with a Bachelors in Engineering and as a Distinguished Military Graduate, commissioned officer, 2nd Lt. in the Army Chemical Corp. After graduation, he took a job with Southern Bell and immediately went on military leave to serve full-time in the United States Air Force and begin pilot training. Tom went on to serve his country for over 30 years in USAF and Georgia Air National Guard and attained the rank of Brigadier General. His decorations included the Vietnam Service Medal and Legion of Merit.

 He had a 40-year career as an engineer and manager for Southern Bell, AT&T and BellSouth.  In retirement, he was Chief Flight Instruction with the Atlanta Navy Flying Club at Dobbins Air Force Base, member of the VFW in Dunwoody, and the Atlanta Chapter of the Order of Daedalians, devoted father and grandfather and an avid Georgia Tech fan.

He is survived by his wife Debbie Saffold, married 39 years, three children and their spouses, Carolyn (Rhys) Wilson of Atlanta, Jennifer (Jeff) Collins of Atlanta and Stephanie (John) Berthelsen of Cumming, and his six grandchildren, Addison, Emma, Lida, Thomas, Edith and Taylor.  He is also survived by four sisters, Linda Saffold Pennington (Larry) of Buckhead, Sara Rehm (Peter) of Kennesaw, Mattie Saffold Scholly (Bill) of Buckhead and Betty Coy of Crawford.  Tom was predeceased by a twin sister, Peggy Carmichael Talmadge.

 His funereal service took place on Monday, July 22, at H. M. Patterson & Son, Arlington Chapel in Sandy Springs. In lieu of flowers, gifts of memorial can be directed to the Wounded Warrior Project.

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