John Daniel Thompson Sr.
July 10, 1927-Jan. 11, 2017 John Daniel Thompson Sr. went home to be with our Lord on Jan. 11, 2017. He was 89. Dr. Thompson was born on July 10, 1927, in Plains, Ga., to Mildred Marie Dykes Thompson and Dr. John Barkwell Thompson. Soon after his birth, the family moved to Columbus, Ga., and welcomed a daughter, Sue Marie Thompson Turner, who preceded him in death. As the son of an Emory University educated physician, Dr. Thompson was fascinated by the field of medicine at an early age; so much so, that he earned the nickname "Doc" from his elementary school classmates, as he would "diagnose" their illnesses during recess. After graduating from The Baylor School in Chattanooga in 1944, Dr. Thompson began his long association with Emory as an undergraduate student, earning his Bachelor and Doctor of Medicine degrees in 1948 and 1951, respectively. He completed his internship and residencies in gynecology and obstetrics and pathology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and later served on the medical faculty at John Hopkins and Louisiana State University. He returned to Emory in 1959 as an associate professor, and just two years later, was named chairman of the department following the unexpected death of Dr. John Cross. At age 34, he was the youngest chairman of any GYN/OB department in the United States at that time. For the next 25 years, and for 10 years after retiring as chairman, Dr. Thompson devoted his life, skills and energies to the development of academic gynecology and obstetrics at Emory, the training of young men and women in that discipline, the improvement of reproductive healthcare in the Southeastern United States, the teaching of gynecology and obstetrics to thousands of medical students, residents and fellows, and the provision of exemplary medical care to patients. Several generations of medical residents graduated from his training program with a concrete definition and example of professional excellence. More clearly than any other gynecologic leader, he encouraged all physicians to accept the health problems of the community, the state and the region as their own, and to work towards their solutions. During his professional career, Dr. Thompson created many successful plans, projects and programs. Among the most notable, and often copied, were the Resident Research Projects and Annual Resident Research Day Programs. Both celebrated 50 years in 2016. In 1987, the Emory GYN/OB department decided to honor Dr. Thompson by combining the two as the John D. Thompson Resident Research Day Program. Dr. Thompson was further honored by Emory University as Professor Emeritus in January 1996. Dr. Thompson co-edited three editions of TeLinde's Operative Gynecology, which is regarded as the leading textbook in the field world-wide, served as president of the Georgia OB/GYN Society, served on the State Board of Medical Examiners, and as a Board Examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, among many other professional associations and accolades. In August 2016, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recognized his immense contribution to the field by awarding him the Luella Klein Lifetime Achievement Award. During nearly 50 years as a physician, his professional life was guided by his closely held personal belief that "The quality of human reproduction is the most important thing in the world. If we cannot get that right, then nothing else matters." He especially enjoyed the challenges of treating gynecologic patients with difficult, special and unusual problems sent to him from many parts of this country, and providing proper care for indigent patients. An avid gardener, sailor and golfer, Dr. Thompson maintained all of those activities well into his retirement years. On the golf course, Dr. Thompson scored two holes in one at Royal Lakes Golf Course playing with his favorite group, "The Sunshine Boys." As the skipper of the Brer Rabbit, Dr. Thompson enjoyed watching the sunset on Lake Lanier and racing her against other sailors at the University Yacht Club. A lifelong learner, Dr. Thompson earned a Master Gardener certificate and grew several crops, the produce of which he donated to Good News at Noon in Gainesville. While it was clear that the Atlanta Braves were his favorite team, Dr. Thompson was an avid supporter of any sports team from Georgia: the Hawks, Falcons, Georgia and Georgia Tech. "Papa Doc" as he was nicknamed by his grandchildren, will be greatly missed by his friends and family. He is survived by his children, John, Millie, Bo, Jimmy and Daniel; five grandchildren; and his Scottish Terriers, Chipper and McCloud. Memorial services will be held in the Bulloch Chapel at The University Yacht Club in Flowery Branch on Saturday, Jan. 14, at noon, with a reception to follow, and also at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church on the Emory University campus in Atlanta on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 11 a.m., where the family will also receive visitors in the church parlor in the church school building starting at 10 a.m. The family would like to thank his medical team and their staff for their expert and compassionate care, Dr. Jonathan Masor, Dr. Andre Kallab, Dr. Robert Neuman, Dr. Paul Chenard, Dr. Prashant Amin, Dr. Laurence Sperling and Dr. Robert Guyton. The family is also grateful to Angela with Northeast Georgia Hospice, and Warren, Simone, Jennifer and Kevin with Home Care Matters, for their dedication to Dr. Thompson's care and comfort. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home; Eagle Ranch; Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia; or the charity of your choice. To express condolences, please sign our online guest book at www.flaniganfuneralhome.com. Arrangements by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Buford, Ga., 770-932-1133.
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