Clarence Ashley Thompson Sr., age 90, entered into his eternal rest Wednesday evening, August 2, 2023, at the Harbor at Harmony Crossing in Eatonton. Services to celebrate his life were held Monday, August 7, 2023, at 2:30 p.m. at Wrens Church of God with Rev. Jason Burton and Dr. Brett Mask officiating. Interment with full military honors followed in the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery. Prior to the service on Monday, the family received friends at the church from 1:30 p.m. until the time of service.
Serving as pallbearers were Brett Mauldin, Stephen Graham, Tanner Mask, Michael Gunn, Graig Poppell, Jody Thompson, Jon Matthews, Charlie Prescott and Dale Wright.
Clarence was born on November 22, 1932, in Swainsboro, to the late Iris Wilson Thompson and Edgar A Thompson. At the age of 16, he joined the Army, serving his country for 20 years. Clarence moved up through the ranks and retired as a Captain. His military career led him to Korea, Germany, Italy and Vietnam, as well as many US cities. A true patriot and almost 60 years old, he went to the Fort McPherson and got his, what he called, “pocket papers” just in case they needed him for the Desert Storm conflict.
After military retirement, Clarence received his law degree from Woodrow Wilson School of Law in Atlanta and passed the bar exam. In his many years of practicing law, he helped many people and rarely charged for his services. Clarence considered helping people as his ministry. He also worked for the Georgia State Labor Department in Atlanta as an Appeals Judge until he retired once again and moved back to his hometown of Swainsboro.
Clarence then felt a calling from the Lord and became the pastor of Ebenezer Methodist Church in Kemp, the church he attended as a child, serving the Lord there for 20 years. He also served as the Hospice Chaplain in Emanuel County for 20 years until he and his soulmate moved to Avera in 2006 to be closer to their daughter and son-in-law. They then joined the fellowship of the Wrens Church of God. Clarence also became active in Kairos Prison Ministry, as well as various other ministries in the area until his health decline.
Clarence was a singer and guitarist who loved to minister in song. His favorite memories were entertaining his fellow troops while in Vietnam. Clarence also used these God-given talents in his ministry to others, and especially at family reunions which were filled with the whole family singing, playing instruments, enjoying each other’s fellowship while also glorifying God. Most importantly, Clarence was a true man of God, having accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior at a young age. Having a servant’s heart, he always put others before himself. Clarence loved all people and allowed the Holy Spirit to lead him to the weak, the hurt, the down-trodden, the lonely, and the lost. He always planted the seed of Jesus’ love and saving grace through his words of comfort, words of cheer and uplifting prayers. Known as a prayer warrior, people would call on him to pray for them, and when he humbly and earnestly prayed, there was power. In all things, it was to God be the glory. Mr. Thompson is preceded in death by his parents; loving wife of 70 years, Mildred Usry Thompson; and three brothers, Jimmy Thompson, Garland Thompson and Bobby Thompson.
Others left to cherish his memories include his children, Angela Thompson Mauldin (Larry) of Greensboro, Clay Thompson (Susan) of Hoschton, Ofelia Thompson Bobo (Hiram) of Gibson, and Clarence Ashley Thompson Jr. (Michelle) of Prattville AL; four grandchildren, Laray Mauldin Mask (Brett), Brett Mauldin (Candice), Clayton Thompson (Makaila), and Breanna Thompson; six great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Wilma Thompson and Eleanor Batchelor (Bennie); brother-in-law, Lamar Usry (Brenda); nieces, nephews, other extended family, church family and friends.
The family strongly suggests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the hospice organization that provided such good care to Clarence, Serenity Foundation Gives, 111 Hillcrest Parkway, Dublin GA 31021 or online at https://www.sfgives.org/donations-and-how-to-help.
Heartfelt thanks and appreciation are extended to the staff of Agape Hospice Care Group (aka Serenity Foundation Gives), especially Nate and Rene, and to the staff of Harbor at Harmony Crossing Assisted Living for their loving, compassionate and professional care.
James Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.