HEATON, Jr., Thomas
Tom Heaton, age 76 passed to life eternal unexpectedly at his home, January 4, 2021. His wife was by his side. Tom loved his Lord, his family, and his country.
Tom was born in Gilbert's Dairy, FL on December 25, 1944 to his parents Thomas, Sr and Mary Heaton. He graduated from Russell High School in East Point, GA only to become a 'RAT' at Georgia Tech (the North Avenue Trade School). Tom graduated from Georgia State where he was a distinguished military student and a member of Pershing Rifles. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army. He attended Infantry, Airborne, and Ranger School before leaving for Vietnam in July, 1970. Upon his return, he attended a number of advanced specialized military courses at Quartermaster School.
After six years of active duty, he served proudly in the Army Reserves for many years, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He had fond memories as Commander of the 421st Quartermaster Company (Rigger School) and as Staff Officer with the 81st US Arcom.
In addition to his decorated Army career, Tom served as Deputy Director for the Office of Support Services, Georgia Department of Human Resources, retiring after 30 years.
In 1963, on a wild weekend sojourn to Athens with a group of friends, he met his beloved future wife Linda Talton of Decatur, GA. They would later marry on December 27, 1968. Tom is survived by his wife, three children, Kimberly Heaton Klein of Brandon, FL, Thomas III of Johns Creek, and Jennifer Heaton of Decatur, GA; seven grandchildren: Josh Adams, Justin Adams, Jordan Goodson, Joel Goodson, Tucker Heaton, Annie Heaton, and Olivia Bacon; one great-granddaughter, Norah Goodson and expecting a great-grandson, Micah Adams in February. Also survived by his sister-in-law Susan Tante and several nieces and nephews.
Most people who knew Tom would call him a true Renaissance man well-read and educated in many pursuits. But to his children, he was simply Dad. Tom was busy coaching them in baseball, soccer, basketball, and helping them with their backhand on the tennis court. He was so proud of each of them.
For years, he faithfully served at Rehoboth Baptist Church in the choir, as a Sunday School teacher, and as a deacon. He was also a member of The Gideons International. "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord".
A graveside service with military honors to be held at 2:00 PM on Friday at Floral Hills Memory Gardens. A. S. Turner and Sons Funeral Home, Decatur, GA.