Cover photo for James Launaire Thompson's Obituary
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James Launaire Thompson

September 9, 1931 — March 12, 2021

James Launaire Thompson, 89, passed away on Friday, March 12, 2021 at his home surrounded by family. 

James was born on September 9, 1931 in Hemingway, SC to Troy Lee and Winnie Bell Thompson (McAllister). On November 6, 1950 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged on October 9, 1953 from the 34th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon. While serving his country he was awarded Best Soldier and Best Dog in his platoon.

In 1954, James married Mary Ellen Thompson (Welch) of Turbeville, SC. After moving to Hinesville, he worked at Interstate Paper for twenty-nine years where he was Crew Leader and Set-Up Supervisor.  Since 1968, he was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church of Hinesville. During his time at the church, he served as a Sunday School teacher and Deacon. He was a devout Christian with unwavering faith in God.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Carolyn R. Smiley of Ludowici, GA.

He is survived by his wife of sixty-six years, Mary Ellen Thompson; two daughters, Shirley B. Garrett of Dahlonega, GA and Wanda T. Smith (Geoff Smith) of Richmond Hill, GA; one son, Richard M. Thompson of Hinesville, GA; eight grandchildren, Jenna Newton, Kelly Bitzer, Sara Liddic, Kim Bitzer, Zachary Womack, Allyson Womack, Brittney Smiley, and Lexi Smith; and numerous great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, March 15, 2021 at Carter Funeral Home Oglethorpe Chapel with Reverend Chuck Owens officiating. Burial will immediately follow in Hinesville Cemetery. A walk-through visitation will be for one hour prior to the service.

Pallbearers will be John Williamson, Zachary Womack, Geoff Smith, John Smiley, Nathan McIver, and Tyler Bitzer.

Social distancing practices will be in effect and masks are required to enter the funeral home.   

Arrangements are provided by Carter Funeral Home Oglethorpe Chapel. To share a memory or leave a condolence, please visit

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