Benjamin Allen Tignor Jr., 77, of Tignor passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.
He was born on the family farm in Tignor on July 11, 1945, to Grace and Benjamin A. Tignor Sr. He grew up learning the value of hard work and developed a deep love for the land. His father called his namesake Puddin’, a nickname he kept his whole life.
Allen graduated from Caroline High School in 1963 and headed to the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company’s Apprentice School where he studied hull design. Classmates elected him president, and he wrote a religious column for the school paper. After graduation, he worked as a hull designer for the company in Newport News.
He returned to Caroline County in September 1970 to start his career as a farmer–growing soybeans, corn and wheat and raising beef cattle. He also owned a tree planting business for about 20 years.
Allen always embraced the latest scientific research and technological innovations in the industry. He belonged to numerous agricultural organizations, including the Virginia Farm Bureau, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association and the Virginia Cattlemen’s Association. He remained an active farmer until illness slowed him in the final weeks of his life. Even then, he asked his doctor when he could get back to the harvest.
While he loved being a farmer, his devotion to the Lord and his family far surpassed his passion for his vocation. He grew up attending Bethlehem Baptist Church and joined Salem Baptist Church in 1970. He was a respected but humble leader at Salem where he served as a trustee, deacon, Sunday School teacher, small group leader and was a member of several pastoral search teams. He freely shared his faith with others and mentored dozens of people through the years.
He also contributed to the Caroline County community as a member of the Sparta Volunteer Fire Department and the Sparta Ruritans.
Allen was a great storyteller blessed with a keen sense of humor and a warm smile. He enjoyed friendships with people from many walks of life, and people often sought his opinion on a variety of topics. In the same conversation, he might share wisdom on farming, life, and the path to salvation.
He lived his faith and adhered to a strong moral code that valued faith, family, integrity, grit, hard work and a sacred stewardship of the land.
In his spare time, Allen was a voracious reader of books on Christianity. He enjoyed bird hunting and treasured spending time with his family, especially his five grandchildren.
Allen is survived by his devoted wife and best friend of 56 years, Brenda Croxton Tignor; a son, Christopher Allen Tignor (Tanya) of Ashland; a daughter, Shannon Tignor Ellis (Benjamin) of Champlain; sisters Lucy T. Gay (Gordon) of Winchester and Lyda T. Bowie (Corbin) of Bowling Green; five grandchildren: Macie G. Tignor, Logan C. Tignor, Regan J. Allen, Cameron A. Allen and Benjamin B. Ellis III (Tripp); and several nieces, nephews, greatnieces and great-nephews.
A funeral was held at 2 p.m. Sunday, November 20, at Salem Baptist Church, Sparta, with the Rev. Doug Duty and the Rev. Kevin James officiating. The family received friends Sunday from 1 p.m. until the service. Burial followed in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Salem Baptist Church Building Fund (24032 Sparta Road, Milford, VA 22514) or the American Cancer Society (cancer.org or P.O. Box 6704, Hagerstown, MD 21741).
Storke Funeral Home, Bowling Green, handled the arrangements.