Cover photo for John W. Thompson, Jr.'s Obituary
John W. Thompson, Jr. Profile Photo
1944 John W. Thompson, Jr. 2024

John W. Thompson, Jr.

July 3, 1944 — April 8, 2024

Athens, GA

John W. Thompson Jr., a beloved resident of Athens, Georgia, passed away on Monday, April 8, 2024. He was preceded in death by his mother, June Thompson; father, John W. Thompson; brother, Andy Thompson; and his wife, Mary Ellen Thompson. He is survived by his, son John, daughter-in-law Shannon, grandchildren Addie and John David Thompson, wife Susan Thompson, her sons Ken and Tim Manley, and their children. Additionally, he is survived by his sister, Beverly Mize, her children Richard and “Tricia”, and Shelly Mize, along with their children. John was cherished by his cousins, loving relatives, and numerous friends.

Born in Eatonton, Georgia, John grew up in Gainesville, Georgia, and graduated from Gainesville High School in 1963, where he excelled as a member of the Red Elephants football team. He furthered his education at Stetson University in Deland, Florida, before serving his country in Vietnam. Following his service, he returned to Gainesville, where he met and married Mary Ellen Cox in 1972. The couple relocated to Athens, Georgia, where John worked in Insurance and Benefits at the University of Georgia. He also served as a full-time Reservist in the Army, stationed at Ft. McPherson in Atlanta and Athens, retiring from the military in 1988. Later, he worked for the Georgia Department of Revenue in Athens until his retirement.

In 2018, John found love again with Susan Weest, whom he married, bringing joy and companionship into each other's lives.  They rescued each other and lived happily for as long as they were able to. Known affectionately as John, Johnny, Red John, Deddy, or Papa June, he was universally recognized for his kindness and warmth. Whether at Chick-fil-A or in his everyday interactions, he was esteemed as "Mr. John," endearing himself to all who crossed his path. John selflessly dedicated himself to serving others, embodying qualities of compassion, generosity, and humility. He was a counselor, teacher, and friend, always willing to lend an ear or offer support.

A devoted Georgia Bulldogs fan, John shared his passion for the team with his son, engaging in spirited discussions and keeping abreast of recruiting and news. GO DAWGS!  Beyond his love for football, John was a dedicated biblical scholar, approaching his studies with enthusiasm and a thirst for knowledge about Jesus. His conversations were never superficial, always delving into matters of history, spirituality, and personal growth. His impact on others was immeasurable, leaving an indelible mark on all who knew him.

John's legacy of kindness, grace, and intellectual curiosity will continue to inspire those who were fortunate enough to have known him. As he transitions to the next chapter, he leaves behind a legacy of love and service, preparing the way for a joyful reunion in heaven. His smile and wisdom will be dearly missed, but his spirit will live on in the hearts of those who were touched by his presence.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the Nurse’s and Doctors’ at Piedmont Athens Regional and the staff of DaVita Athens West Dialysis for the loving care provided to John.

Funeral Services will be held on Friday, April 12, 2024 at 11:00AM at Lord and Stephens West Chapel with Pastor Joe Fraser officiating. The family will receive friends from 6:00PM until 8:00PM on Thursday, April 11, 2024.

In lieu of flowers please make donations in John’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Hospital  Donate St. Jude or Briarwood Baptist Church Building Fund, 1900 Robinhood Road, Watkinsville, GA 30677.

Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, West, Watkinsville, GA is in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John W. Thompson, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, April 11, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Lord & Stephens Funeral Homes Watkinsville

1211 Jimmy Daniel Road, Watkinsville, GA 30677

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, April 12, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Lord & Stephens Funeral Homes Watkinsville

1211 Jimmy Daniel Road, Watkinsville, GA 30677

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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