Jon Appleton obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Jon Appleton

August 9, 1934 - November 27, 2016

Obituary


Jon Appleton died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, November 27, 2016.

Jon was born on August 9, 1934 in Louisville, Kentucky. As an only child, he grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. Jon attended Samford University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1955. Jon was led into the ministry early in his life following his father's footsteps. He attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky graduating in 1959. He later went to Auburn University for his Master of Art in 1968, and in 1976 was recognized with an honorary...

Jon Appleton died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, November 27, 2016.

Jon was born on August 9, 1934 in Louisville, Kentucky. As an only child, he grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. Jon attended Samford University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1955. Jon was led into the ministry early in his life following his father's footsteps. He attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky graduating in 1959. He later went to Auburn University for his Master of Art in 1968, and in 1976 was recognized with an honorary doctorate from Judson College.

On August 19, 1956, Jon married his beloved sweetheart, Virginia Bell Appleton and became a part of the large Joe Bell family. He quickly formed close relationships with each member of the family becoming a son, a brother and a cousin in his newly extended family. Nephew Jon Appleton Massey became like a son to him in his older years.

From 1953 through 1961 Jon had several pastoral positions in Kentucky and in Gadsden, Alabama. He was the Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Opelika, Alabama from 1961 until 1968. Jon next was the Director of the Department of Campus Ministry for the Alabama Baptist State Executive Board form 1968 until 1975. He proceeded from here to Athens, Georgia where he was the Pastor of the First Baptist Church from 1976 until his retirement on April 15, 1999.

After retirement Jon remained busy as the Executive Director for the Classic Charities Inc in Athens. He was an Adjunct Professor with Mercer University Studies Abroad Program through which he was a guest lecturer at the South Wales Baptist College, University of Wales, Cardiff, Wales in 2001. Jon was a also a member of the Institute of Animal Care and Use Committee with the University of Georgia; he also served on the Board of Directors at St. Mary's Health Care System in Athens. He was the Moderator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia from 1997-1998. He was on the Advisory Council for the McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University from 1996-2002. Jon continued to fill the pulpit in several different churches.

Jon loved to play golf, read, study and travel. He spent a great deal of time in Highlands, North Carolina working in his rose garden and helping his wife in her shop.

Jon was preceeded in death by his mother and father, Kate and Zack Appleton. He is survived by his wife, the love of his life, Virginia Bell Appleton and his daughter and son-in-law, Catherine and Jack Peay of Highlands, North Carolina. He also has his sisters-in-law, Carolyn Massey, Joy Stephenson, Margaret Robinson and brother-in-law, Robert Bell.

Jon was a unique man; he had charisma that was mesmerizing, an open heart touching thousands of people throughout his life. Those who are fortunate enough to have known him and his love have received a most special gift. Jon lived life to its fullest and will be greatly missed, but he has left a footprint on this earth that will certainly be remembered and cherished indefinitely, a legacy.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to the First Baptist Church of Athens, Georgia.

The family will be having a visitation at the Joe Bell family home at 1071 Seven Islands Road, Buckhead, Georgia on Tuesday, November 29 from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

The Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, November 30, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Athens, Georgia.

Online condolences may be offered at www.bernsteinfuneralhome.com.

Bernstein Funeral Home and Cremation Service is in charge of arrangements.