Paul Thomas “Tom” Marlatt

November 23, 1948 – March 29, 2023


SAVANNAH, Ga. – Paul Thomas “Tom” Marlatt, 74, of Ellabell, Georgia passed away unexpectedly on March 29, 2023, at Memorial Hospital in Savannah.

Tom was born on Nov. 23, 1948, in Torrington, Wyoming, to Roland and Pauline (Brown) Marlatt. He was an older brother to his only sister, Roline, born in 1949. The family lived in eastern Wyoming where Roland taught, coached and served as principal. During Tom's high school years, the family moved to California. He continued to play basketball, track, and developed a passion for football. After graduating from Chino High School in 1966, he attended Cal Polly at Pomona Junior College on a football scholarship where he played safety. After a brief stint at Stanford, Tom earned a spot on the New Orleans Saints where he'd play for two seasons. After his football adventures, he returned to college and completed his Bachelor of Science Degree at the University of New York and an Agriculture Endorsement at Penn State University. Once Tom graduated from college, he proudly served his country in the US Army from 1975 to 1986 where he trained as an Airborne Paratrooper, participated in the Korean Conflict, and became a Staff Sergeant and Instructor at the 24th Infantry Division NCO Academy in Fort Steward.

While stationed in Fort Stewart, Tom met and married the love of his life, Patricia Marlatt, in 1984. She affectionately referred to her blue-eyed cowboy as “Big Tom,” which quickly became his nickname to many who knew him. This union blended children from both their prior marriages, which allowed for memorable vacations across the country to visit siblings. Their children are grateful that their marriage expanded the family, creating lasting bonds.

After his honorable discharge, he earned his teaching degree at Georgia Southern University. He taught Science and coached football, basketball and baseball at Southeast Bulloch High School in Brooklet, GA until the death of his Grandpa Ray. This allowed him the opportunity to move back to the Marlatt Family Ranch in Hawk Springs, Wyoming where he loved to spend time as a young cowboy. Tom loved ranch life, raising his sheep and cattle, building fences, branding days with family and friends, and especially helping his neighbors. 

His life of service led him to a dispatcher position for Bryan County, which lead to working as a deputy and School Resource Officer at Bryan County High School. Being back in the school setting meant building relationships with students and staff, which meant a great deal to him. In 2016, he decided to retire from the Sheriff's Department and travel west to Nebraska to spend time with family until 2021.

Throughout their marriage, Tom and Pat were active in local churches and served in a variety of ways. They were awarded the Bishop Garland Award for their service in the Catholic Church. Over the years, they attended Goshen County Community Bible Church (Hawk Springs, Wyoming), Holy Cross (Pembroke), St. Matthews (Statesboro), Christ the King (Gering, Nebraska). Tom was a member of the Morrill American Legion Post No. 10 (Morrill, Nebraska) and Trout Unlimited.

Papa enjoyed spending time with his kids, grandkids and great grandkids. His hobbies included woodworking, hunting, tying fly fish flies, reading (and watching) westerns, and watching any televised football game along with the Atlanta Braves. He was a proud Papa who enjoyed watching his grandkids and great-grandkids sports and activities, whether in person or online. He especially enjoyed debriefing every aspect of their games with them afterward.

From bull riding in the rodeo to football memories that included Archie Manning and Jim Plunkett to military shenanigans with buddies, Tom always had a good story to share. He was admired by many and will be missed dearly.

Tom is lovingly survived by his wife of 39 years, Patricia; children, Dixie (Richard) Chavis; Angela Wilkes; Marty (Rae) Marlatt; Lori (Earl) Engelenburg; Eric (Lanie) Marlatt; Shane (Rebecca) Marlatt; Kristi (William) Lindsay; Deirdre (Jon) Amundsen, Rose (Justin) Sessions; grandchildren, Scott (Amber) Chavis, Blaine (Jeffrey) Ennis, Jason (Ashley) Chavis, Wesley (Kellie) Wilkes; Christopher, Isabelle, Jacob Marlatt; Devin (Monique) Marlatt, Alax (Chasity) Baysinger; JonTomas Marlatt; Jayden Morash; Riley, Landon, Chloe Amundsen; great-grandchildren, Scott (Matthew) Adam, Tyler Chavis; Tanner, Cooper, Gunner, Harper Ennis; Derek, Dylan Chavis; Karlie, Kenlie Wilkes; Zayvian Marlatt, Graham Baysinger; sister, Roline (Wayne) Pickens; sister-in-law, Kathleen Martin; Aunt Alice (Lance) Theobald as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. 

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Pauline and Roland Marlatt; grandparents, Ray and Birdie Marlatt and Stephen and Bernice Brown, as well as many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Family will receive friends on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, from noon to 1 p.m. at Flanders Powell Funeral Home.

The Celebration of Life Service will follow at 1 p.m. with Father Tom Murphy officiating.

Inurnment will be held at Ellabell Methodist Church Cemetery with military honors.

For anyone that cannot make the service, it will be on Facebook Live on the Flanders Powell Funeral Home Facebook page.

Cremation has taken place according to his wishes.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations toward Panhandle Humane Society in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

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Flanders Powell Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of the arrangements for Paul Thomas “Tom” Marlatt.