EMANUEL COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Many who live in Emanuel County are mourning the death of long-time District 2 Commissioner Keith Thompson. He died at his home on Sunday at 67-years-old following an extended illness.

A man among men, a heart of gold, full of compassion and deep rooted in faith are just some of the ways that people who knew Commissioner Thompson described him.

“[He] loved everybody, never met a stranger,” said Jim Sherrod, the chairman of the Emanuel County Board of Commissioners. “Integrity, character, you name it – he had it. He had a heart of gold, he did the commissioner duties with a servant’s heart.”

Commissioner Thompson served District 2 for 24 years. He also served on other boards in the county, and owned several businesses. 

He was so well known, that he was voted “Person of the Year” by the Swainsboro Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce in 2011.

“He probably could’ve won that award every year. I mean he’s just that good of a person,” Sherrod said.

His wife, Lynn, said that he was the best husband, caretaker, and father to their son, Kal.

Others who knew him described him as a friend to everyone around him.

“He was just such a friendly and loving person, and you knew it if you were his friend,” said Guy Singletary, the Emanuel County Administrator. “He’d make sure of it, and he took care of you.”

Above all, he was a man of faith.

“Over the last few years when you would talk to Mr. Keith and discuss his health and his condition, he didn’t talk about those things,” Singletary said. “He talked about his faith, and that was always important – that always resonated with me.”

Chairman Sherrod said that if the next person for the job can fill half the shoes of Mr. Thompson, then they’ll have a good commissioner.

“One thing I guess I’ll miss the most about him is at the end of every conversation we ever had, he would be, ‘God bless you man, I love you,’ and I think that’s what I’ll miss the most,” Sherrod said.

Funeral services will be at 3 o’clock on Wednesday at Emanuel Christian Ministries.

In lieu of flowers, it’s been asked that donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in memory of Commissioner Thompson.