William Jefferson “ W. J.” Thurmond, Jr., age 81, of Greensboro, GA died Saturday, March 25, 2006 at Athens Regional Medical Center. Born on June 21, 1924 in Greene County, he was the son of the late William Jefferson Thurmond, Sr. and Emma Valentine O’Kelly Thurmond. His early schooling started at Brocton School in Jackson County, GA in 1930, then he attended Bolton Academy and Berea School near Commerce, GA, also in Jackson County. He went on to attend Madison Elementary School in Morgan County and Cedar Grove School in Greene County. He graduated from Greensboro High School and graduated from the University of Georgia in 1949 receiving a degree in Business Administration. He was the owner and operator of White Dot Supermarket and later owned and operated Thurmond’s Grocery and Coin Laundry. After retiring he drove the school bus for NGA and worked the gate at athletic events until his death.
His military service started at Fort McPherson, GA on March 15, 1943. He was stationed at Fort McClellan, AL, Camp Shenaugo, FL, Fort Hamilton, NY, A.P.O.E.N.Y., Fort Dix, NJ and Camp Stanks, NJ. He went overseas in April of 1944 on the ship Ile de France and served in Scotland, England, France and Germany being discharged in January of 1946. He was a life member of the VFW where he was a former Post Commander, member and Post Commander of the American Legion, Charter member of the Military Order of Stars & Bars, Robert Toombs, Athens, GA, Charter member of the reactivated Chapter 942 Greene County Rifles Sons of Confederate Veterans where he served as Camp Commander in 2001.
He was a former member of the Greene County City Council, former Board Member of the Trustees at NGA, a member of New Hope Baptist Church in Greshamville serving in numerous capacities including Sunday School Superintendent, song leader, adult teacher, a delegate to Conventions, a member of the pulpit committee, church treasurer, deacon, Chairman of the Board of Deacons and Chairman of the Bi-Centennial Committee.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen Bryans Thurmond; and siblings, Flonnie Thurmond, Roberta Thurmond, Burnie Thurmond, Robin Thurmond, Duard Thurmond and Williard Alexander “Jeff” Thurmond. He is survived by three daughters, Yalonde T. Reese of Greensboro, GA, Marlene T. “Tootsie” Smith and husband Jeffery of Greensboro, GA and Dale T. Dyer and husband Chris of Blairsville, GA ; two sons, Jeff Thurmond and wife Amy of Greensboro, GA and Jay Thurmond of Greensboro, GA; a sister, Dorothy T. Eley of White Plains, GA; a brother, Lamartine Thurmond of Madison, GA; and fourteen grandchildren, Casey T. Smith and husband Michael, Joe Tolbert, Cristin S. Fanning and husband Bryan, Jared Smith, Avery Smith, Claire Thurmond, Oakley Thurmond, Jeff Thurmond IV, Cameron Thurmond, Nick Thurmond, Jessica Thurmond, Calleigh Thurmond, Lauren Dyer and Tori Dyer; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Funeral Services will be held Monday, March 27, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. at New Hope Baptist Church in Greshamville with Rev. Mike Pritchett, Rev. Durell Rice and Rev. Farrett Boswell officiating. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. Active pallbearers will be Joe Tolbert, Jared Smith, Nick Thurmond, Larry Eley, Tim Leary and Lewis Thurmond. Honorary pallbearers will be the Deacons of New Hope Baptist Church. The family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sunday night at the Funeral Home. The family requests that memorials be made to Nathanael Greene Academy, P. O. Box 109, Siloam, GA 30665 or New Hope Baptist Church, c/o Richard Curtis, 1910 Wrayswood Road, Watkinsville, GA 30677. McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of arrangements. Visit us at www.mccommonsfuneralhome.com to sign the online guest register.