Ralph Tatum

Ralph Donald "Don" Tatum

Monday, January 2nd, 1933 - Monday, July 22nd, 2019
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Ralph Donald Tatum
January 2, 1933- July 22, 2019

Don Tatum, age 86, of Waco, passed away Monday, July 22, 2019.

Don was born in Waco, the son of Thomas Headlee Tatum and Gladys Elaine (McKinley) Tatum. He had one sister, Ardis (Tatum) Bouma. Don graduated from Waco High and Baylor University. He was united in marriage to Martha Sue “Susie” Tatum in 1959 and had four children. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend to many.

Don was a charter faculty member at MCC where he taught physics for 33 years and established the tennis program. He was also a deacon of Park Lake Drive Baptist Church and a member of the Baylor Senior Choir. Don enjoyed playing tennis, biking, running and growing azaleas. He loved spending time with his family and traveling with Susie in retirement.

He was preceded in death by son Richard and survived by son Jim Bob and wife Kim Tatum, daughter Laura and husband Ho Mah, daughter Jennifer and husband Brian Scully, and daughter-in-law Rebecca (Hackman) Tatum. He is also survived by six grandchildren: Tatum, London, Annabelle, Alis, Denise, Alaura, and one great grandchild, Braxton.

A memorial service will be held at Oak Crest Funeral Home in Waco on Saturday, July 27th at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Parkinson’s Voice Project or Prestonwood Pregnancy Center.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Saturday, July 27th, 2019 | 11:00am
    Saturday, July 27th, 2019 11:00am
    OakCrest Funeral Home
    4520 Bosque Boulevard
    WACO, TX 76710
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Dick and Karin, LifeSavers Foundation Board of Directors, and other have sent flowers to the family of Ralph Donald "Don" Tatum.
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Kenneth Ramsey

Posted at 05:26pm
We were very sorry to hear about your loss. We know that God will comfort you in this time. We will keep you in our prayers.

Kenneth and Bernice Ramsey

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 01:17am
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We love you.
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David A.Johnson

Posted at 05:06pm
Don was a great man and now he is reunited with Richard in paradise, probably playing a couple of sets at the tennis club there. He was always patient and kind with his own children and all of us rag-tag kids that ran with Richard and Jim Bob in the tennis community. He was my instructor at MCC in the Physics Department and enjoyed his classes in Physics and Astronomy. he was very passionate about his instruction. He was a good friend, advisor, and Christian man/father example to our group of young men who grew up on the tennis courts with the Tatum boys. Daddy Don will be greatly missed by family and all who knew and loved him.

Buddy Powell

Posted at 04:31pm
Don was a great colleague, mentor, and friend to me at MCC. As a young employee there in the late 1970s and early 1980's, I had the privilege of assisting with his physics labs. I learned so very much from him about teaching and about interacting with students. More than that, he was always incredibly kind and patient, both a gentleman and a consummate professional educator. Knowing Don Tatum was truly a blessing and an honor. Thanks be to God!

Buddy Powell

Dick and Karin

Posted at 01:05pm
Love you
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