Obituary Listings

Thomas Ray Blaco Wardell

August 27, 1940 June 20, 2019
Thomas Ray Blaco Wardell
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Obituary for Thomas Ray Blaco Wardell

Nurtured in the Big Sky country of Montana, Tom Wardell grew up to embrace the vast opportunities America has to offer. After a brief illness, Thomas R. B. Wardell died on June 20, 2019 at age 78. He was born in Nebraska, to Wendell Wardell and Alta Mae Moulton. He grew up in Deadwood, South Dakota, and Billings, Montana, graduating from Billings High School. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout and sustained a lifelong support of Scouting. Designated a John Harvard Scholar, he graduated from Harvard College in 1962 followed by Harvard Law school in 1966. He spent several decades in Chicago and Boston with different law firms, started a successful technology firm, Versyss, which he sold in 1993, when he moved to Atlanta to marry Susan Brown. This marriage proved to be a magical one with many happy memories.

Tom joined the McKenna Long and Aldridge law firm in Atlanta. His distinguished legal career focused on advising corporate clients in diverse fields both in the US and in China where he facilitated their access to American markets. His counsel in corporate finance, governance, reorganizations and compliance was widely sought. Tom always felt his highest goal was in mentoring other younger colleagues, and he enjoyed the affection and respect of generations of attorneys. He authored numerous professional articles in his field, and was a frequent lecturer.

Tom had a lifelong passion for classical music. Brahms was his favorite. Blessed with a rich baritone voice, he sang semi-professionally in Boston where he was on the Board of the New England Conservatory. He had a list of operatic arias he wanted to sing in concert at Spivey Hall, but never had the chance. Most recently he was vice-chairman of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Board and head of development. Beloved by the musicians, and respected by his Board colleagues, his work for the ASO was tireless and his generosity bountiful. He worked to develop diversity in every organization in which he worked and founded the Atlanta Legal Diversity Forum to promote the role of women and minorities in law. He never lost sight of his Montana roots and travelled there several times a year, starting and funding an organization to provide IPads to elementary students to facilitate their grasp of the wider world about them.

Tom enjoyed world travel, and Italy’s food and music made it his favorite country. He climbed Kenya’s Mt Kilimanjaro in 2002 and took frequent business trips to Asia. Weekends at his mountain home in Big Canoe, Ga, and vacations on the beach in Mexico writing and reading with Susan provided the “peace and quiet” that replenished his vast store of energy and his keen intellect.

Tom is survived by his wife of 25 years, the former Susan Brown, his children, Tom, Catherine and Charlie Wardell, Jessica Landis (Greg), Sally Brooks (Sarah Blanton), Gabriel Benzur (Elizabeth), and Leah Benzur, sisters Connie Wardell of Billings, MT, Wenda Morrone (John) of Bozeman, MT, and brother Wendell Wardell (Kay) of Durham, NC, five grandchildren, and one great granddaughter.

Services will be held at 2pm on Saturday, July 27th at Glenn Memorial Church in Decatur, GA. The family asks that memorials be donated to The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, 1280 Peachtree Street,NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 Attention: Grace Sipusic.

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Upcoming Events

A Celebration of Life Service




2:00 PM 7/27/2019 2:00:00 PM
Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church

1660 North Decatur Road
Atlanta, GA 30307

Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church
1660 North Decatur Road Atlanta 30307 GA
United States

Memorial Contribution

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

1280 Peachtree Street, NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
Please direct donations attention to Grace Sipusic

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