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Terry Stephen Watson Died at 71

Funeral flowers (file photo)

Terry Stephen Watson was born in Waco, Texas, on April 16, 1952. He was the “son of a preacher man” and the oldest of four siblings. In his childhood, his family moved to South Florida where his father pastored First Baptist Church of Perrine. As a child, Terry was very active in church and sports including football, baseball and track. In his teen years, he coordinated the legendary “Chicken Key Adventures,” enjoyed reading, stamp collecting and traveling with family.

Terry met his future wife, Linda Thigpen, at church when he was 15 years old. Terry and Linda married in 1972 and have been married for 51 years. Terry adored his wife, his two “Daddy’s girls” Lorna and Alea, and his six cherished grandchildren.

Terry’s passions were his walk with God, serving others, family, travel, music, learning, running and creating maximum cards from his travels. Terry visited 100 countries and all seven continents. Some of his worldly adventures include: visiting all Seven Wonders of the World, camping on numerous African safaris, snorkeling with manta rays in Indonesia, eating a fried tarantula in China, camel riding in Egypt, parasailing in Switzerland, elephant riding in India, helicopter touring over New Zealand, running five marathons, and serving the Lord on mission trips to Russia, Ethiopia, Maui and South Africa.

He graduated from Westminster Christian School and obtained his Masters of Social Work Degree at Florida State University (“Go Noles!”) later followed by his specialist degree. He worked as a school social worker for Cobb County Schools for 31+ years. Additionally, he was heavily involved in developing and leading community outreach efforts for at-risk youth and families, including after-school programs, community centers, parent trainings and mentorship programs.

Terry was an active member/deacon/trustee of First Baptist Church of Lithia Springs for four decades; he taught Sunday School, led Royal Ambassadors (RA’s), and coordinated outreach ministries.

People have described him as an adventurous, encouraging, wise, intelligent, generous, kind, dependable, non-judgmental, disciplined, witty, free-spirited man with a childlike wonder of the world—an idealistic realist, out-of-the-box thinker, who loved to entertain people with his epic stories. But what he would most want people to remember about him is that he loved the Lord with all his heart, soul and mind, and loved others as himself – and he would want that for you too!

Terry died a hero and met His Savior on Nov. 22, on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

He is survived by his wife, Linda Thigpen Watson; daughter, Lorna Parker of Marietta, Ga.; second daughter, Alea Bird (Michael) of St. Croix, V.I.; six grandchildren: Schuyler, Zoe, Callum, Marin, Hannah and Milo; siblings: Tim Watson (Kathy), Tonie Knight (Bruce), Tracie Sutton (Steve); and in-laws Bill Thigpen (Cindy), Sue Nichols (Brett) and Laurie Washington; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 3, at First Baptist Church of Lithia Springs. In lieu of flowers, a Memorial Fund has been established at Samaritan’s Purse. www.samaritanspurse.org.

Cards would be appreciated by his wife and family at:

Linda Watson

1825 Jenny Lane

Lithia Springs, GA 30122

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