Lillian Anthony Thompson Jemian

Published 5:48 pm Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Lillian Anthony Thompson Jemian, 89, of Auburn, Alabama, and formerly Lillian Terry and Lillian South of LaGrange, Georgia, passed away peacefully Jan. 28, 2019, at Arbor Springs Nursing Home in Opelika, Alabama. She had a full, well-lived life that included lots of love, laughter, family and friends. Lillian, or “Lil” as many family and friends called her, was born in Columbus, Georgia, on March 1, 1929, to the late Will and Velma (Tharp) Anthony. The family relocated to LaGrange, Georgia in 1956.

Lillian attended Columbus High School and went on to receive her bachelor of arts degree in teaching in 1951 from Tift College in Forsyth, Georgia. She completed her master’s degree in education at Auburn University in 1963. Lillian taught in Troup County (LaGrange), Georgia for 33 years. She had a passion for teaching, especially reading. Lillian always delighted in helping her third, fourth and fifth graders discover the magic of reading a good book.

After graduation, Lillian returned to Columbus, Georgia, and taught. She met and married her first husband, Curtis D. Terry in 1952. They had one child, Karen Anne. They divorced in 1959, and Lillian moved to LaGrange to be near her family. In 1968, Lillian’s neighbor, Betty South, introduced her brother-in-law, J. C. South, to Lillian. They married that same year and daughter, Karen, got a wonderful “father” out of the deal. After J. C.’s death in 1983, Lillian met James “Sonny” Thompson of Opelika, Alabama, through a mutual friend. They were married in 1991, and Lillian moved to Opelika, Alabama. Sadly, Sonny passed away in 2000. Lillian then met her present husband, Dr. Wartan A. Jemian of Auburn, Alabama, in a ballroom dancing class. They married in 2004. Lillian was an excellent cook and loved to try any new cooking “gadgets” that came out. She also enjoyed square dancing, ballroom dancing, playing bridge, shopping, eating out and spending time with her family including her step-children and their children. Lillian and Wartan were active members in several dance clubs. They participated in dances from Phenix City to Auburn-Opelika to Montgomery.

Lillian was an active member of Second Baptist Church in LaGrange, Georgia, for many years where she belonged to the Baptist women’s group and taught vacation bible school. After moving to Opelika, she became a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, where she enjoyed Wednesday night fellowship activities and participated in the XYZ group for senior members. Lillian always had a deep faith that she demonstrated not so much by words, but by the life she lived. One of her favorite Bible verses was, Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Mrs. Jemian was preceded in death by her sister, Emmy Massey of LaGrange, Georgia; her first husband, Lt. Col. Curtis Terry of Kissimmee, Florida; her second husband, J. C. South of LaGrange, Georgia; her third husband, James “Sonny” Thompson of Opelika, Alabama; and her brother-in-law, Harlin South of LaGrange, Georgia.

Mrs. Jemian is survived by her adoring husband of 14 years, Dr. Wartan A. Jemian of Auburn, Alabama; her loving daughter, Karen (Joe) Morgan of Bowling Green, Kentucky; sister-in-law, Betty South of LaGrange, Georgia; nephew by marriage, Phillip “Rocky” (Kate) South of Peachtree City, Georgia; stepchildren: Kathy (Billy) Jackson of Abbeville, Alabama; Pam (Fred) Duca of Orlean, Virginia; Allen (Beth) Barks of Opelika, Alabama; Bob (Connie) Jemian and Mary (Mike) Lott both of Auburn, Alabama; Dr. Rebecca (Marc) Jemian-Satterwhite of Louisville, Kentucky; Dr. Peter (Alta) Jemian of Lake Bluff, Illinois; and numerous step-grandchildren and step-great grandchildren. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, at 2 p.m. CDT with Reverend Earl Ballard officiating in the Sanctuary at Trinity United Methodist Church in Opelika, Alabama, with visitation two hours prior to the service in the trinity room. There will be no graveside service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, 800 Second Ave, Opelika, AL 36801. Frederick-Dean Funeral Home is directing.