October 22, 2021

Mr. Thomas Lipford

Mr. Thomas Darden Lipford, prominent citizen of Franklin, age 102, passed away September 24, 2021 at his home.

His funeral will be conducted Tuesday September 28, 2021 at 1:00 PM at Franklin First Baptist Church with the Revs. Neil Awbrey and Andrew Owensby officiating.

His body will lie in state at the church from 12:00 PM until the funeral hour. Interment will follow the service in Franklin City Cemetery.

The family will accept guests at Stutts Funeral Home Monday evening from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.

Mr. Lipford was born May 30, 1919 in Heard County to the late Thomas H. Lipford and Cammie Stephens Lipford. He lived his entire life in Franklin.

He graduated from Heard County High School in 1936. He furthered his education at Emory University, earning a degree in business administration.

Like many of his generation, when his country called him to service, he answered. He entered the Army Air Forces at Fort McPherson in August 1942. He was assigned to the 866th Squadron, 494th Bomb Group and sent to Airplane Mechanic School. 

He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant, served as an airplane crew chief, and was sent to the Pacific Theater where he was involved in the liberation of the Philippines and the air offensive against the Japanese Home Islands.

He earned the Good Conduct Medal, American Service Medal, WWII Victory Medal, and Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal with one silver star and one bronze star.

While in service, he married the love of his life, Lucile Simmons, in December 1943. They were married for over 71 wonderful years until her passing in 2015.

After returning home from service, he joined his father and brother in the family grocery and hardware business. His father passed away and his brother left the business to pursue a career in politics as the County Commissioner.

Mr. Thomas kept the business going until retiring in 1997. Lipford Hardware had been a fixture on the Franklin Square for over 90 years.

Mr. Thomas was a man of service to his community. He was an active member of Franklin First Baptist Church, where he served as a Deacon for 57 years, 38 of which were as Chairman of the Board of Deacons. He was also Sunday School Director for 29 years and a trustee of Rockridge Baptist Assembly.

He was on the Board of Education for many years and served as Chairman for a portion of his tenure. He was also elected to serve on the Franklin City Council.

He was a member of Chattahoochee Lodge #61 F. & A. M. for more than 80 years. For this milestone he was honored by a visit from the Grand Master and Grand Secretary, along with a group of Masons from lodges in the local area, who gathered in the front yard at his home.

Early in his life Mr. Thomas was known to be a rather proficient baseball player. It was said that he had a great curve ball and knuckleball. He was approached by the Atlanta Crackers minor league team to play. However, Mr. Thomas knew he had a family to support and needed regular income. Not accepting the invitation to play professionally was one of Mr. Thomas’ greatest regrets.

Survivors include two sons, Lawrence Lipford (Kathy) and Mack Lipford (Betty) all of Franklin; grandchildren, Alex Lipford, Randall Lipford, Carl Lipford, Shannon Brice (Lin), Harry Lipford, and Kimberly White (Richard); great-grandchildren: Seth and Nate Brice, and Kaci White; several nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas H. and Cammie Stephens Lipford; wife, Lucile Simmons Lipford; sister, Camille Lipford Staples; and brother, Frank Steve Lipford.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Franklin First Baptist Church.

Those who wish may write memorial tributes at www.stuttsfuneralhome.com.

Stutts Funeral Home of Franklin, GA in charge of arrangements.

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