Claude Esly TallentDecember 22, 1933 ~ September 18, 2017 (age 83)
Claude Esly Tallent, 83, of Fort Walton Beach, FL, passed away peacefully on September 18, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. He was born on December 22, 1933, to Ross and Isabell Tallent in Englewood, TN.
Claude graduated from Everett High in Maryville, TN, and later joined the United States Air Force in 1952 where he served as a jet fighter crew chief and began his many leadership roles. His military career took him all over the world to places such as France, Iceland and he served in Vietnam. Claude met many lifelong friends while honorably serving his country until 1972 when he retired as SMSgt. After retiring from the U.S. Air Force, he had a successful career as an Life Insurance agent for 15 years. In 1987, Claude became the founder of a manufacturing company, Talco Awards Showcase, Inc., where five of his children became employed. His dream of having a family-owned business came true and lasted 22 years. He was also a member of the Ft. Walton Beach Lions Club for 35 years where he served as a leader and was the “Tail-twister” for the club. His jokes and unique ideas he presented at the meetings were enjoyed by all.
Claude’s happiness in life was to be surrounded with his large family. He enjoyed grilling and entertaining no matter how large the crowd. He rightfully earned the title “Master chef Claude”. He will always be remembered for his witty jokes and the way he lit up a room with his vivacious personality. He led by example and loved life to the fullest extent.
Claude was preceded in death by his father and mother; sisters Sue Wilson and Edna Bonner, brother, Pat Ridley, brother-in laws – Clarence “Knuck” McMahan and Bill Perry, sister-in-laws Katherine McMahan and Imogene Ridley. He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Betty Leonard Tallent. Their six children and spouses are: Brenda Loken (Mike), Keith Tallent (Shelly), Kathy Tallent, Karen Williams (Scot), Edwin Tallent, and Valerie Coleman (Tim); 10 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
Family will receive friends at Emerald Coast Funeral Home on Thursday, September 21, 2017 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held Friday, September 22, 2017, from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Ross officiating. Burial services will follow at Barrancas National Cemetery at 1:00 with military honors.