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1956 Jonathan 2023

Jonathan Paul Ambrose

February 28, 1956 — October 12, 2023

Watkinsville, GA

Jonathan Paul Ambrose, beloved husband, father, Ecologist and longtime conservation leader, passed away peacefully on October 12, 2023, at the age of 67 in his home of Watkinsville, Ga.

Jon grew up on a small farm outside Knoxville, Tennessee. He was the son of Harry Ambrose, a professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Tennessee and Minister of Music at Central Baptist Church, and Miriam Stauffer Ambrose, a nurse and active member of the church choir. Jon grew up with his siblings Harry, Kathleen, Peter and Andy. He met his wife, Dana, at the University of Tennessee.

Jon began his career as an ecologist with the Department of Natural Resources in 1986, the same year he completed a doctorate in ecology at the University of Georgia. He later managed the Georgia Natural Heritage Program and was a 2011 National Conservation Leadership Institute graduate.  He co-authored the new benchmark guide The Natural Communities of Georgia and led creation of Georgia’s first State Wildlife Action Plan. Jon finished his 36-year career by serving as the Chief of Wildlife Conservation for the Georgia DNR from 2014 until his retirement in 2023, leaving a lasting legacy for conservation.

Jon was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Athens, where he participated in the choir. He also volunteered his time for various charitable causes such as Habitat for Humanity and The Healing Place. He spent his free time birding, hiking, camping, biking and playing a variety of musical instruments including performances in the Knoxville and Athens Symphony Orchestras.

Jon is survived by his loving wife, Dana Ambrose, his two children, Stephanie and Elliot, and his two grandchildren, Grace and Olivia. His wisdom and generosity will be deeply missed by all who knew him. A service will be held at First Baptist Church of Athens on Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Georgia DNR Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund , the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, or World Vision.

Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, East, Athens, GA is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jonathan Paul Ambrose, please visit our flower store.

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