Thompson Family Reunion 2021

 Dear Family and Friends,

As you know, last year we were unable to meet due to COVID.  We had been going full blast preparing for this year’s reunion when the pandemic grew worse again.  After careful consideration we are planning to still meet again, but things will be different.

October 3rd is still our Big Day at Ebenezer Methodist Church on Kemp Road west of Swainsboro.  There will be no singing, no speaker, no business meeting, no indoor activities.  At 11:30 we will gather at the outside shelter for a few remarks, a reading of the names of those who have passed away in the last few years, and announcement of the 2021 Roots and Wings Scholarship.  After a prayer we will proceed with our dinner.  Caution will be taken, such as providing plastic gloves for serving food and sanitizer available around the tables.  If you are feeling apprehensive, I will understand your choice not to attend but we want to provide the opportunity for those who want to come.  Pray that all of this will soon be over.

Robert Thompson and his brothers Elmer and Bill will be serving their delicious barbecue.  Please take time to thank them for all their hard work and find a donation jar to help cover the cost of the meat.  Also, please bring several side dishes to add to the barbecue.  Once again there will be a special table for the dessertsPlates, cups, utensils, napkins, table coverings, ice, plastic gloves and sanitizer will be provided.  Some folks enjoy bringing tables and chairs so they can linger in comfort.

If you lost loved ones in the last two years or know of someone who has, please send me the names, dates and other information so they can be included in our memorial reading.  Please send this right away, as it is very difficult to put together on the morning of the reunion.

We won’t be having an offering as we usually do, so please consider mailing a donation.  As you know, our foundation supports many important items such as the church’s insurance, cemetery mowing, fence maintenance and a new project, tombstone repair.  Remember that gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible.

Once again, and I can’t stress this enough: if you are feeling sick or think you might have been exposed or are just nervous about it, don’t attend.  We all understand and will see you next year!

Philip Stephens, President                                                                    Home: 912-529-3624

Reubin Thompson Memorial Foundation                                                Cell: 478-290-0903

1083 Woodland Drive                                                             
Soperton, GA 30457

 Reubin Thompson Memorial Foundation, Inc. NEWSLETTER

Kemp, Georgia                                                                                            September 2021                       

Beasley, Coleman, Flanders, Hall, Hooks, Kea, Kirkland, Kitchens, Lumley, Moore, Riner, Rowell, Scott Sumner, Thigpen, Webb, Youngblood and more


As you know, we did not have a reunion last fall due to the COVID Pandemic.  This year we plan to have a scaled-down, more simple reunion featuring a meal, due to ongoing concerns with COVID.   We will be out of doors, with food under the picnic shelters.  Remember to bring chairs so you can be more comfortable.  We will not have a Saturday sharing time this year.

As usual, we will announce our Roots and Wings Scholarship winner for 2021.  Please contact Susan Middleton at for information or an application for this $1000 award.  It is important to remember the application deadline for next year’s scholarship is June 1, 2022.  The following message is from our 2020 winner Mikayla Burford:

My first year of college was great at Oregon State University!  My first year was fully on line and I moved on campus winter term.  I am taking two online classes this summer.  I joined Kappa Alpha Theta and had a lot of fun meeting new people in my sorority house.  I am looking forward to this coming fall having in- person classes.  Thank you so much.  The scholarship really helped this year.  Mikayla

At last progress is being made on tombstone repair at our cemetery.  By the time of the reunion repair of some of our family stones should be completed.


Mike Barwick, a graduate of Brewton Parker and the University of Georgia Pharmacy School loves to fish and collect Indian artifacts.  He grows wildflowers, vegetables and daylilies which he hybridizes.  He and wife Luanne live in Kathleen, Georgia.  Mike is the grandson of Milledge Chestnut Thompson and wife Sally Gay.

Susan Middleton, the granddaughter of Gaston Allen Thompson (GAT), one of the founding members of the Reubin Thompson Foundation, is a retired Georgia lawyer, living with her husband Bob on Jekyll Island.  As many Thompson kin, she loves music and as a soloist and pianist serves on the music team at Jekyll Island Baptist Chapel.


*We lost a former Foundation president, as Garland Edgar Thompson passed away on June 1, 2021.   Garland was retired from Westinghouse and worked at the Savannah River Nuclear Plant.  He and Betty Jean returned to Emanuel County to live after retirement. They were active in our Reubin Thompson family association, which he served as president from 1995 to 2000.   He was a tree farmer, past President of the Emanuel County Agri Business Council, and former member of the Exchange Club.  Like many family members, Garland enjoyed music.  One year he played his electric guitar at our reunion!  He was a descendant of Robert Nelson “Long Bob” Thompson.

*Nell Thompson Smith died in Birmingham on June 10, 2021.  Formerly of Savannah, she kept track of area events and often phoned to report a family death or other news.  Nell was 96 years old, granddaughter of Robert Bird Thompson and loved attending our reunions.

*Mike Challancin was pictured in his airboat in the July/August issue of Smithsonian magazine in an article about the Belle Glade, Florida, area.  Mike gives nature and wildlife tours on Lake Okeechobee and is a former science teacher.  He is the grandson of George A. Thompson, one of the founders of our reunion.

*Frances Louisa May Pope passed away September 8, 2020, at the age of 103!  Louise graduated from Huntington College in Alabama in 1928 and was a Home Economics teacher.  A descendant of the Rev. John Anthony Thompson, her lengthy obituary on Find A Grave tells of her many interests over the years such as bridge and entertaining and skill with a computer, even Zoom!  [we could all perhaps learn from her]

Note: Family members who have passed away since October of 2019 will be remembered at our reunion on October 3rd.


This photo was taken by Ruby King, first president of our family association, in July of 1958, date of our first reunion.  Note the differences!  Through the years, our foundation planted shrubbery, helped put up the chain link fence, built the picnic shelters [due to rain on reunion day] and completed many other projects.  Ebenezer members also made many changes over the years.

The current minister is Rev. Kevin Palmore, who was assigned after the retirement of our cousin Rev. Clarence Thompson.  Clarence has also retired from our board of directors due to the distance from their home in Avera, Georgia.  We will miss you Clarence and Mildred, also known as “Milly” and thank you for all your assistance over the years.  We also welcome Rev. Kevin and look forward to our partnership in caring for the cemetery and church.


Every year we loose track of some family members due to address and/or email changes.  Please let us know how we can stay in touch.  Give us your email address so we can save on printing and stamps.  Pass this newsletter on to relatives so they might feel more a part of our huge family.  Consider becoming more active in our family association as younger, energetic folks are needed and vital if our group is to endure.  Finally, stay safe and stay well.

Marilyn M. Lear, family historian                      912-265-5916      4106 Riverside Drive                                                                                                                     Brunswick. GA  31520

Officers & Directors: Philip Stephens, President, Clarke Johnson, Treasurer, Bill T. Akers, Mike Barwick, Lucille Braswell, Marilyn Lear, Susan Middleton, Andy Thompson, and Martha Walker.