John Heyward Douglas, Jr., age 83, of Grayson, transitioned on October 22, 2023. He was born August 31, 1940 in Florence, SC, to the late Mr. John F. Douglas, Sr. and the late Mrs. Della Mae Douglas.
From an early age, he exhibited a strong commitment to education and personal growth. John attended Wilson High School and later graduated from South Carolina State College where he not only excelled academically but also played baseball. Additionally, he showcased his musical talents as a trumpeter. After completing his undergraduate studies, John became a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. John embarked on a distinguished career as the first black merchandise manager for Sears, in Florence, South Carolina. His dedication and exceptional work ethic earned him the admiration of his colleagues and customers alike during his 19 plus years with the company. However, John's desire to make a difference in the lives of others led him to return to the classroom. In 2004, he retired from the Cobb County School System after making a tremendous impact on the students he served. Beginning in 1994, when he was ordained into ministry, John served as an Associate Pastor for 15 years with steadfast devotion and passion for evangelism. He devoted himself to guiding others through their spiritual journeys and embraced the role of a minister with unwavering dedication and compassion. John was also an integral part of Kairos ministry—an organization dedicated to spreading hope and love to those incarcerated—where he selflessly volunteered his time and energy. Prior to becoming a minister, he served as a deacon within his church community. John honorably served in the Army for 3 years, sacrificing personal comforts to protect and serve his country. His military service exemplifies his courage and unwavering commitment to something greater than himself. Beyond his professional endeavors and spiritual leadership, John found great joy in numerous hobbies and interest such as fishing, painting and was an avid reader. He placed utmost importance on family bonds and treasured every moment spent with loved ones. As an excellent husband and father, he prioritized the well-being and happiness of his family above all else.
In addition to his parents he is preceded in death by his first born daughter, Sinah S. Douglas; brother, Arnold Douglas.
He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Mrs. Betty J. Douglas, affectionately known as “Fox”; sons, John Matthew (Sharon) Douglas of Saratoga Springs, New York, John H. F. (Sebrina) Douglas III of Lawrenceville, Georgia; daughter, Jocelyn A. (Michael) Wood of Villa Rica, Georgia; sisters, Barbara (Hugh) Gunter of Ohio, Mary Cindy (Frankie) Cook of South Carolina; grandchildren, Truly Wood, Blake Douglas, Charity Wood, Bella Douglas; extended children, Kurt (Belinda) Jefferson, Rev. Michael (Gloria) Culbreth; a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends; special thanks to close friend, Sharon Lumpkin.
A celebration of life will take place at New Mercies Christian Church, 4000 Five Forks Trickum Road SW, Lilburn, GA 30047, on Saturday, October 28, 2023 at 10:00 AM.
Messages of condolence may be sent to www.jones-wynn.com. Jones-Wynn Funeral Home Inc. and Crematory of Douglasville is in charge of the arrangements.