John Patton Dempsey passed from this life on October 8, 2020, just a few days after celebrating his 100th birthday. John was born in Floyd County, Georgia, on September 20, 1920 to Lucille Patton Dempsey and John Reece Dempsey.
A lifelong scholar, John graduated from Model High School in 1937 and University of Georgia in 1941. After serving in World War II, he completed his Masters Degree in Agriculture Economics at UGA. Continually striving for higher learning, he received a Bachelor of Law Degree from Woodrow Wilson College of Law in 1962.
John married the love of his life, Grace Meenan Dempsey, on May 1, 1943. A veteran of World War II, John enlisted in the Army Air Corp where he served as an aircraft engineer and flight instructor, obtaining the rank of Sergeant.
John established the Dempsey Agency, working for many years as an insurance and real estate agent. Always a hard worker, additionally, he was building houses and apartments and maintaining the family farm raising cattle, pigs, and chickens. He was also an avid gardener, providing vegetables and fruit for his family and friends.
As a civic-minded person, John was actively involved in several organizations. With the Travelers Protective Association, he served as State President and National Treasurer. In the American Legion Post 5, John was Post Commander and a member of the Honor Guard. With the Cattlemen’s Association, he toured farms and ranches in other states with the Georgia delegation several times. As a member of Ruritan National, John served in several capacities before becoming National President in 1989. He also helped establish many new Ruritan clubs in the Southeast.
John was preceded in death by his wife of 74 years, his parents, and his sister, Margaret Dempsey Heflin. His loving family includes daughter, Marie, and son-in-law, Jim Carney; grandsons, Jeff (Anne Marie), Chad (Jennifer), Kyle (Jessica), and Cabe (Emily) Carney. Great-grandchildren are Kevin (Reana) and Kayleigh Carney; Erin, Emmy, and Tate Carney; Laney, Davis and Dempsey Carney; Emma and Savannah Mae Carney.
Due to COVID restrictions and concerns, the family will hold private services on Wednesday, October 14. Grandsons and great-grandsons will serve as pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Friendly River Homemakers Club – Scholarship Fund, ℅ Phoebe Cornett, Treasurer, 304 Bells Ferry Rd, NE, Rome, GA 30161. John’s mother was a charter member of this club, his wife, Grace, was an active member, and daughter, Marie, is presently a member.
Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, North Chapel, has charge of the arrangements for John Patton Dempsey.