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Garland Thompson, one of Coffee County's greatest ambassadors, has passed at age 90

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Featured Garland Thompson -- June 5, 1928-Dec. 17, 2018 Photo courtesy of Douglas-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce Facebook page Garland Thompson -- June 5, 1928-Dec. 17, 2018

Garland Thompson, age 90, of Douglas, passed away on Monday, December 17, 2018 at his residence. Mr. Thompson was born on June 5, 1928 in Soperton, the son of the late Clifford Thompson and Troy Spivey Thompson.


Mr. Thompson was a veteran serving in the United States Marines and attended the First Baptist Church.


He played a direct role in the economic development of the City of Douglas and Coffee County, resulting in thousands of new jobs for his community. Garland helped relocate many businesses to the Douglas and Coffee areas, including several Fortune 500 companies. Garland’s significant organizational and leadership talents, his remarkable patience and diplomacy, his keen sense of vision, and his sensitivity to the needs of the citizens of this state have earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues and associates.


He was a graduate of Soperton High School, received his associate’s degree from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, his bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, attended the Louisiana State University School of Banking and the University Of Georgia School of Banking. From 1957-1970, Garland was employed as a County Office Manager with ASCS and from 1970-1993, Garland worked as a Senior Vice President at Trust Company Bank of Coffee County. He formerly served as a member of the Board of Directors of SunTrust Bank, the senior consultant of the United States Economic Development Council, the Chairman of the Georgia State Soil and Water Conservation Committee, a member of the Coffee County Young Farmers Association, Vice President of the Coffee County Kidney Foundation, a member of the Douglas Rotary Club, the director of Sunbelt Expo-Moultrie, the Vice President and Supervisor of Altamaha Soil and Water Conservation District, and President of ABAC Golden Alumni.


He formerly has served as President of the Douglas-Coffee County Industrial Authority, an executive committee member of the Douglas-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce, State Representative for the American Bankers Agricultural Committee, State Representative for the Council for Agricultural Research and President of the University of Georgia Agricultural Alumni. Garland has been recognized for his outstanding contributions with numerous awards, including the Humanitarian Award from the East Central Technical College Foundation, the Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame award, the Governor’s GIDA Volunteer of the Year award, the Honorary American Farmer award from the Future Farmers of America, the AGHON from the University of Georgia, the Pilot Club Man of the Year in Agriculture award, the GACAA Friend of the County Agent award, an Honorary Membership from the Georgia Young Farmers Association, the Appreciation Award from the University of Georgia Agriculture Alumni, the GACDS man of the Year award from Soil and Water Conservation, the University of Georgia Advisory Board Gold Kist “Good Egg” Award, a Douglas-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce Honorary Membership, the Kiwanis Davis Award, the GACDS Hall of Fame Award, the Daughters of the American Revolution Award, the Volunteer of the Year Award from the City of Douglas and Coffee County, the NACD SE Region Hall of Fame Award, and the Kiwanis Community Service Award.


Garland Thompson was an outstanding, godly and dedicated citizen of Georgia, evidenced by his devoting innumerable hours of his time, talents, and energy toward the betterment of his community and keeping Christ at the center of his home and family.


In addition to his parents, Mr. Thompson was preceded in death by his wife, Anita Burton Thompson.


Survivors include three sons, Kirby Thompson (Roseanne) of Atlanta, Andy Thompson (Kim) of Soperton, and Tim Thompson of Greensboro, N.C.; daughter, Beth Harrell (Keith) of West Green; brother, Jaudon Thompson (Cathy) of Perry; five grandchildren, Betsy Oliver (Louis), Macie Thompson, Kip Thompson (Allison), Katie Harrell and Trent Harrell; two great grandchildren, Hank and Kate Oliver.


Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at 2 pm at First Baptist Church with Rev. Shep Johnson officiating. He will lay in state Wednesday from 1 pm until 2 pm. Interment will follow at Douglas City Cemetery. The family will receive friends Tuesday evening from 6 pm until 9 pm at Sims Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials to The First Baptist Church Men of Acts.


Sims Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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