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12-13-08 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, Ala. 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, 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 master's 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, FRIDAY 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 North Main St, Morrow, Ga. 30260. Ford-Stewart Funeral Home, Inc., Jonesboro/Stockbridge (770) 210-2700. www.fordstewartfuneralhome.com

John Truelove

John Truelove, age 77, of McDonough, passed away Dec. 10, 2008. He was a member of the Grant Park Christian Church, the Cedar Grove Christian Church and the Calvary Christian Church where he served as teacher, deacon and elder and currently is a member of the McDonough Christian Church. He was a Mason, Shriner and belonged to the Civitan Club. He also was an elected member of the Board of Education for DeKalb County where he served as chairman. He was one of the founding members of the DeKalb County Touchdown Club. Also a member of the board at Christian City. He had an honorary doctorate from DeKalb Community College. Because of his service in the DeKalb County Softball League, the Softball Complex was named for him, John Truelove Park. Lifetime fan of Georgia Tech Football. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Barbara, of McDonough; two daughters, Debbie Arnold, McDonough, Pam and Robert Baxley, Charlotte, N.C.; son, Larry and Debi Truelove, McDonough; brother, Charlie Truelove, Athens; six grandchildren, Natalie, Paul, Philip, Matthew, Timothy and Will; two great grandchildren, Marty and Nicholas. Funeral services will be held Saturday, 12 noon at Ward's Fairview Chapel. Ministers Hank Melton and Paul Leslie officiating. Interment Fairview Memorial Gardens. Family will receive friends Friday 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Contributions may be made to the Christian City Children's Home or the Sacred Journey Hospice. Horis A. Ward Fairview Chapel, (770) 474-1231.

Mary Nell Giles Starr

Mary Nell Giles Starr, 73, a child of God and lifetime resident of Clayton County, passed away after a long illness Friday, Dec. 12 at Jonesboro Nursing Home. Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Aubrey Starr. She is survived by her daughter, Kay; sisters, Patsy and Paul Lakemper, Peggy and Charlie Holmes; brother-in-law, Terrell and Celeste Starr; sisters-in-law, Betty Giles and Marguerite Starr, and many nieces, nephews and friends.

Mary retired from Southern Regional Medical Center after 26 years of service. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Forest Park and was active for many years with special needs children and adults. Her family will receive friends from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. Graveside services will be at 2 p.m., Monday, Dec. 15 at Forest Hills Cemetery in Forest Park with Pastor Reed Crumbliss officiating. In lieu of flowers, those desiring may make contributions to First Baptist Church of Forest Park, 634 Main St., Forest Park, Ga. 30297. Funeral arrangements by Thomas L. Scroggs Funeral Directors, Morrow, Ga. (770) 961-2828.

John L. Williams

John L. Williams, age 74, of McDonough, Ga. died Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008. He was born in Carrollton, Ga. to the late Dewell Copeland and Elizabeth Brown Moore Williams. He was also preceded in death by his sister, Beverly W. Seiz. Mr. Williams was an active member of Bible Baptist Church and had previously served with other congregations as a bus captain. He was responsible for getting hundreds of children to church. In earlier years he enjoyed outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, hunting, camping and sports. But most of all he was a loving husband, father and grandfather. Williams is survived by his wife, Darlene Williams, McDonough, Ga.; children, Lisa Rainey, Loudon, Tenn., Cyndi Singh, Hayesville, N.C., Jane W. Smith, Bogart, Ga., John Williams, Jr., Newnan, Ga., Larry Gilbert, Crofton, Md., Ted Gilbert, Griffin, Ga., and 13 grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008 at Bible Baptist Church with Rev. Brad Blanton officiating. Interment will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends Monday, Dec. 15, 2008 from 2-4p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home. Those who wish may sign the on-line guest registry at www.cannonclevelandfunerals.com. Cannon Cleveland Funeral Directors, (770) 914-1414.