Henry Benjamin Tonking, Jr., 88, of Holden Beach, passed away on Monday, June 19, 2017.
Ben, as he was called by family and friends, was born on July 10, 1928 in Mt. Tabor, NJ, to the late Henry Benjamin Tonking and Frances Baker Tonking. He was one of six children.
Ben played football for Mt. Lakes High School and was a member of the Mt. Tabor Zebras hockey team. His first goal after high school was to have his own car. Ben inherited his engineering talent from his father and loved working on old cars. He used his experience working at an auto repair shop, along with his engineering prowess to repair and maintain vintage Ford cars, including his own Ford convertible with a rumble seat.
Ben proudly served his country as a member of the United States Army where he fought for freedom in the Korean War.
Ben received an engineering degree from the University of South Carolina and a Master’s degree from Pepperdine University. For 30 years, Ben was Vice President of International Paper, supervising production at paperboard manufacturing facilities throughout the country. When needed, Ben was transferred to improve production at any plant where output was not meeting corporate goals.
In 1982, Ben, with his wife Mary Lou, established a paper box manufacturing facility “Sun and Surf” in Shallotte, NC, which is still in operation after 35 years. Ben and Mary Lou made their home in Holden Beach, NC where they enjoyed serving on committees for the homecoming week celebrations.
Surviving is a brother, William “Bill” Tonking (Ruth) of Shallotte; a sister, Elizabeth “Bette” Perelli (Dick) of La Jolla, CA; and many loving nieces and nephews, and longtime friends.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 8, 2017 at 10am in Brunswick Funeral Service Shallotte Chapel.
An Inurnment will be held in St Brendan’s columbarium at a later date.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made in Ben’s name to Liberty Hospice, PO Box 200, Supply, NC 28462.
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