Thomas E. Dempsey, Jr.

1939 - 2021


Thomas Evan Dempsey, Jr., a life long resident of Cave Spring, passed away peacefully March 24, 2021 at his residence surrounded by his family. Mr. Dempsey was born to the late Mae Foster Smith Dempsey and the late Thomas Evan Dempsey, Sr. on December 5, 1939.

Mr. Dempsey graduated from the Cave Spring High School in 1957, received his BSEd and his Master’s Degree from West Georgia College (1962 and 1965) and his Specialist Degree from Jacksonville State University in 1981. While at West Georgia, he lettered in basketball. Mr. Dempsey taught and coached at Adairsville High School from 1962 to 1964 and at Cave Spring High School from 1964 until 1974. Starting in 1974, he served as assistant principal for ten years at Cave Spring. During his last eight years education, he was the principal of Cave Spring Elementary, retiring in 1992. He impacted multiple generations through his teaching, coaching, mentoring, and friendship in the Cave Spring and surrounding communities. Mr. Dempsey was a former member of the Adairsville Lions Club, the Cave Spring Ruritan Club, the Mackey Lodge #120 F. & A.M., the Cave Spring Historical Society, the Rome Rotary Club and the Rome Lions Club. He was an active member of the Georgia, Floyd County, and Alabama-Cherokee County Cattlemen’s Associations. Mr. Dempsey was a member of the First Baptist Church of Cave Spring.

Survivors include his wife of 18 years, Reatha Carroll Dempsey; his children, Thomas “Ted” Dempsey, III (Karoline) of Niceville, FL., Tara Dempsey Avery (Matthew) of Rome, and Tonya Dempsey Wilson (James) of Cave Spring, Rip Carroll of Rome, Laura Gourley (John) of Birmingham, Ben Carroll (Renee) of Missouri, eighteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Two sisters, Mrs. Reba Lindsey (Gerald) of Rome, and Mrs. Joan Crawford of Newnan, and five nephews and four nieces also survive.

Besides his parents, Mr. Dempsey was preceded in death by a sister, Mrs. Betty Marcus and by a brother Lynn Smith.

Funeral services for Mr. Dempsey were held Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 5:00 P.M. at the First Baptist Church of Cave Spring with Dr. Robin Lindsey and Rev. Jarrod Kinsey officiating. After the service, a celebration reception was held in the fellowship hall. His sons, sons-in law, and grandsons served as pallbearers. Private interment services were held at the Rehoboth Community Cemetery on Sunday afternoon.

Flowers were accepted, or donations can be made to the First Baptist Church of Cave Spring, P.O. Box 327, Cave Spring, GA. 30124.

John House’s Cave Spring Chapel.

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John House's Cave Spring Chapel Funeral Home

9 Rome Rd, Cave Spring, GA

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John (Richard) Stephens

May 2, 2021 4:43 PM

So sorry to read this, Glad I was able to visit before COVID struck.  Thomas was one of four of us who graduated in 1957.  Miss Martha Davis referred to us as the Four Musketeers as we were usually together in whatever was going on.  Cave Spring was a great place to grow up.  My memories growing up in Cave Spring would be incomplete without remembering Thomas.  Rest in Peace, Thomas, rest in peace!

John Hobbs

April 13, 2021 10:09 AM

I had my rump paddled more than a few times by Mr. Dempsey. I'd say I probably deserved more that I got too. :D

Funny story I've got from one of those corporal visits back around 1976.

I had done something I shouldn't have which was typical and I got sent to his office. He had two wooden paddles. A plain solid one and another one with a few holes from knots in it that was covered with signatures. After my first ever paddling with the latter he proceeded to tell me the history of said paddle.

"Son this paddle is reserved for my repeat offenders. These are the boys that frequented my office for disciplinary reasons. After you get paddled with this particular paddle then you get to sign your name to it just like the ones before you." He proceeded to read the names of some of those lucky fellows and as he was flipping that paddle over he said "oh and lets not forget about this guy here named Leo Zeppelin" was all I could do to not bust out laughing but I managed to keep it to a light chuckle, added my John Hancock to that paddle and exited stage left.

I've told that story on more than a few occasions because it was a funny memory from being a kid in school.

I always wondered why he had those signatures. Maybe it was a way to keep track of the rowdy bunch so someday he could find out if he had a positive impact on us or not.

I'm 54, raised a family on my own, successful business owner and a Christian. He can put a check mark next to my name on that paddle.

He will be missed.

John C. Hobbs

Carolyn & Gary Willis

April 3, 2021 3:58 PM

Love and prayers for all of you.

Pat Tumlin

March 28, 2021 7:22 PM

Thanks for the memories, Thomas!   We had a great childhood!  RIP  Pat Tumlin

Expression of Sympathy

March 27, 2021 3:42 PM

With love from Michael Heath and family

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