Monday, December 19, 2016

Thomas Stephen Fant

Thomas Stephen Fant, 98, died December 16, 2016, at his home in Olive Branch. A native of Louisville, Mississippi, Mr. Fant had been a resident of the Memphis, Tennessee area since 2000. Born October 12, 1918, to Stepp and Allie Files Fant in Choctaw County, Mississippi, Mr. Fant left school at an early age to help provide for the family due to his father’s blindness. He was an automotive mechanic and, according to the Winston County Journal in the late 1930’s, was a “dashing young man about town”.

He married Inez Carr in 1940 and they celebrated 65 years together before her death in 2005. She was his anchor and a source of strength throughout his life. Mr. Fant owned and operated an automotive repair business for over 40 years in Louisville, MS. A military veteran, Mr. Fant volunteered to serve in World War II in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was stationed outside London, England as an aircraft and automotive mechanic. His memories of bombs falling on the base during the blitz of London remained vivid throughout the decades.

He was active in stock car racing for many years as an owner/builder and was a consistent champion with his #20 car. He won multiple championship races and was recognized as a leader in dirt track racing throughout Mississippi and Alabama. He remained a NASCAR fan throughout his life. He was a Mason and an avid fisherman and quail hunter. A former member of Evergreen Baptist Church and First Baptist Church in Louisville, Mississippi, he joined Germantown Baptist Church in Germantown, Tennessee in 2000.

Mr. Fant was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Rev. Denny Fant and Marion (Pete) Fant, his sister, Juanita Thornton, and his wife of 65 years, Inez Fant. He is survived by his sister, Virginia Martin of Noxapater, MS, his daughters, Dianne (Scott) Yaich and Denise (Chris) Ford, both of Collierville, Tennessee; grandchildren, CarrLee (Britt) Howard of Frisco, Texas and Chandler Ford (Benjamin Church) of Los Angeles, California; great-grandchildren Avery and Bella Howard of Frisco, Texas; and many nieces and nephews . Services were held Sunday, December 18, with visitation at 1:30 p.m. and funeral services at 2:30 p.m. at Porter Funeral Home in Louisville, MS with burial following in Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, you can donate to the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation . Porter Funeral Home were in charge of arrangements.