ATHENS – William R. “Bill” Thurman, 91, died Saturday, May 23, 2009.
Born on January 1, 1918, in Plains, he was the son of Marcus Sylvester and Nina Elizabeth Reynolds Thurman. He was a member of the first graduating class of Georgia Southwestern College and held an A.B. degree from Emory University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa; had a Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Technological Seminary, from which he graduated Magna Cum Laude; and the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Georgia, both in English.
He was pastor emeritus of Jefferson Presbyterian Church and an associate professor emeritus of English at the University of Georgia. For more than 20 years he served as a volunteer at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, and he sponsored 12 disadvantaged children through six children’s aid organizations. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Athens and a teacher of the Covenant Sunday School Class.
Mr. Thurman was preceded in death by his first wife, Marguerite “Peggy” Whitaker Thurman.
Survivors include his wife, Frances Jenkins (delaPerriere) Thurman; a son, William Richard Thurman Jr., Thomaston; daughter, Sharon T. (Mrs. William H.) McCreery, Jefferson; stepdaughter, Donna M. delaPerriere, Oakland, Calif.; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Monday, June 1, at 2 p.m., at the First Baptist Church in Athens with the Revs. Frank Granger and Michael Jarrett officiating. George Marshall will deliver the eulogy. Honorary pallbearers will include the members of the Covenant Class, together with George O. Marshall Jr., Harry J. Haynsworth, Gerald E. Smith and David L. Edwards. Burial will be at Evergreen Memorial Park. The family will receive friends 30 minutes prior to the service at the Church.
Memorial contributions may be made to Children Incorporated, 4205 Dover Rd., Richmond, VA 23221, or Save the Children, 52 Wilton Rd., Westport, CT 06880.
Bridges Funeral Home, Athens, is in charge of arrangements.