It is with sadness that we pass on the news that Thrashers season ticket holder and reigning 7th Man award winner T.R. Benning has passed away at the age of 89. If his name isn’t familiar to you his face certainly should be. Mr. Benning and his wife Maria were the elderly couple featured on the Kiss Cam on a regular basis and their appearance always got a cheer from the crowd.
The Bennings have been a fixture at Thrashers games since the inaugural season in 1999 and have been season ticket holders since the day they went on sale. Mr. Benning was a decorated World War II veteran and an Atlanta commercial construction giant as one of the founders (along with his father) of the Benning Construction Company. He stormed the beaches of Normandy in 1944 and earned a Purple Heart, Silver Star and Bronze Star for valorous service. The Atlanta Business Chronicle has a piece on him here.
Here is the blog post from last April after the Bennings won the 7th Man Award. Make sure you scroll down to read comments from their children about how honored they were to be an inspiration to so many fans. T.R. will certainly be missed by those who knew him as well as thousands of people who never met him but who looked forward to seeing he and his wife at each Thrashers game nonetheless.