12-12-08 obituaries

Shirley Jane Pepperd Thomaston

Shirley Jane Pepperd Thomaston, beloved widow of Reuben Matthew Thomaston and daughter of Maurice Pepperd and Daisy Phygenia Pepperd Cass, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008, surrounded by family and friends. She is survived by her sister, Doris Cecelia Cass Althaus and her children, Anita Louise Thomaston, Janet Elaine Thomaston, Mitchell Evans Thomaston, Nancy Elizabeth Thomaston Rogers, and Michael Edward Thomaston; daughter-in-law, Christy Thomaston, and her grandchildren Neil Dana Gauthier, Adrienne Leigh Gauthier, Brian Matthew Rogers, Emily Michelle Gauthier, Eric Jay Rogers, and Lindsay Arsula Thomaston, along with numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. An educator for most of her life, she was known by most as simply "Jane", the vibrant and amazing woman you could count on for caring, support, and a great story. Janie Girl was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on June 22, 1931 into a large, loving extended family. She was a dedicated student and excelled in academics. She received a scholarship to attend Birmingham Southern College, where she majored in English and theater, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Her first jobs after college were at The Progressive Farmer newspaper and at a television station in Birmingham, Alabama. She married Matt Thomaston on May 28, 1955, and together they lovingly raised their five children in various states across the country. They were life partners and soulmates for over 42 years until his death on Dec. 23, 1997. Jane loved teaching, and taught first grade for many years before becoming a lead reading and instructional lead teacher, sharing her many gifts with countless teachers and students. In Clayton County, Georgia, she taught at Suder Elementary for 32 ? years, spreading her love of literacy far and wide. Some have even said that she WAS Suder School. During her career she earned her Masters and Educational Specialist degrees at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She was president of the Clayton County Council of the International Reading Association, and began to branch out in Georgia and internationally. She was the statewide president of the Georgia Reading Association 1983-1984, and was responsible for the International Reading Association convention in Atlanta during that time. She stayed active with GRA the rest of her life, presenting at conferences, and added many other groups and activities to her busy schedule. She was the Area Ten Director for the Georgia Retired Teachers Association, active in the Clayton County Retired Teachers Association, and performed in many places including the Carter Center in Atlanta. As Dolley Madison, she made history come alive through her imaginative storytelling skills. She shared her love of learning and books in many schools, and especially enjoyed Dr. Seuss's birthday. Her belief in active participation in the political process led her to become Poll Manager for the Jackson Elementary Voting Precinct. She was a charter member of Trinity United Church in Hampton, where she was served on the Board of Trustees and began the Children's Sermon ministry, and a member of Morrow First United Church since 2001, serving as Children's Coordinator and was a children's sermon presenter and VBS volunteer. Additionally, she was a member of the Administrative Board, Council on Ministries, Bible Study groups, and was coordinator of the Scottish Country Dancers that met for several years at the church and who shared their talents with church, school, and scout groups. Jane's cultural heritage was very important to her, and she was a member of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, an officer in the St. Andrews Society, and an active part of the Burns Club with her husband, Matt. She loved to dance and to encourage others to experience that joy. She had many friends in many groups including the RELATE teacher group, Historical Jonesboro and the Red Hat Society. She supported not only her church, but various scouting groups through the years as the wife of her scoutmaster husband and grandmother of children in both Boy and Girl Scouting. Jane was a social butterfly who participated in these many activities and organizations to support worthy causes and to interact with people. As busy as she was with community groups, she was even more involved with her family. Jane's faith and family were the most important things to her. You could always count on "Grandma Jane" to be there for any event involving her children and grandchildren. She would go on field trips, celebrate birthdays, and enjoy holidays with her family. She also loved traveling, and would fondly recount her adventures in Scotland, England, Ireland, mainland Europe, Canada, and all over the United States to anyone who wanted to listen. Jane was the ultimate "people person" and thrived on her contact with others, whether as a mother, grandmother, sister, friend, teacher, mentor, or performer. Her zest for life is legendary, as are her warm smile and quick wit. Shirley Jane Pepperd Thomaston will be sorely missed by many from various walks of life who are all better people for having known her.

Funeral services will be held, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, at 2 p.m. at Morrow First United Methodist Church. Dr. Ed Judy and Rev Floyd Carmack will officiate. Interment Jonesboro City Cemetery. The family will receive friends, TODAY AND SATURDAY, from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home. Flowers accepted or contributions can be made to: Morrow First United Methodist Church, 5985 N. Main St, Morrow, Ga. 30260. Ford-Stewart Funeral Home, Inc., Jonesboro/Stockbridge (770) 210-2700. www.fordstewartfuneralhome.com

John Christopher Gordon

Mr. John Christopher Gordon, age 47, of Jonesboro, died Dec. 10, 2008. He was a member of The Village Church and worked at Country Auto Parts in Turin. He is survived by his wife; Melissa Lynn Gordon, parents; Robert Henry and Ruby Merle Gordon of Jonesboro, brother and sister in law; Robert F. and Kris Gordon of Buckhead, Ga., sister and brother in law; Anita and Randall Morgan of Fairburn, niece, Kalen Gordon, and nephew, Brent Morgan. Funeral services will be held, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008 at 11a.m. in the chapel of Ford-Stewart Funeral Home. The Rev. Ray Waters will officiate. Interment Camp Memorial Park. The family will receive friends, TODAY, Friday, Dec. 12, 2008 from 5-8 p.m. at the funeral home. Ford-Stewart Funeral Home, Inc., Jonesboro/Stockbridge (770) 210-2700.