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Dr. Thomas Devan Johnson

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Dr. Thomas Devan Johnson Obituary
Dr. Thomas Devan Johnson


Dr. Thomas Devan Johnson, longtime physician and cardiologist, was born in Hawthorne, Florida, 1925 and passed away in Greenville, South Carolina March 14, 2013. He came to Georgia upon entering Emory University in 1942, where he received the BS and MD degrees and completed certification in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases. He served in the US Army Medical Corp in Germany during the Korean War and opened his practice in Albany in 1954, which grew into Albany Internal Medicine. He was a member of First Methodist Church, serving on the administrative board, and for 25 years was a member of the church choir. A lover of music, he was a member of the Emory Glee Club, the Albany Chorale, and board member and president of the Albany Symphony Association. He was also board member of the Albany Museum of Art for many years, where he worked to build the museum's permanent collection.

He was married to Zollie Saxon Johnson, his wife of 63 years. Their son, Dr. Steven Devan Johnson, is a 1978 Emory medical graduate and cardiologist in Greenville, SC. His associates in practice in Albany included Emory graduates Charles D. Hollis, M.D. and Joseph Stubbs, M.D. and Emory alumnus, F. Dempsey Guillebeau, M.D.

In medicine he served as President of the Georgia Heart Association. He was founding member and president of the board of trustees of Palmyra Hospital in Albany. At the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospitals he served as chief of medicine and president of the medical staff where he led the development of the hospital's cardiovascular program to include the first coronary care unit, the echocardiography and nuclear cardiology labs, and the cardiac catheterization laboratory. He led the Medical Association of Georgia committee on medical education. He was a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Cardiology, and member of the American Medical Association, the Dougherty Kiwanis Club, and the Albany Men's Garden Club. He was awarded a local Martin Luther King recognition for promoting admissions of minority physicians to the Phoebe Hospital Staff.

He was a devoted supporter of the Albany Emory Club, serving as president during its heyday. He was an avid gardener, timber producer, quail enthusiast, worldwide traveler, horseman, and dog lover. He loved life and was a joyful presence for everyone who knew him.

He is survived by his wife Zollie, their son Steve, four granddaughters, Claire Anne Johnson, Emily Gurley, Lori Stein and Lacey Gurley; four great grandchildren; and his brother Al Johnson, of Port St. Lucie, FL.

He was preceded in death by his daughter Suzanne Saxon Johnson.

A memorial service will be held at First Methodist Church, Albany, Georgia, at 2:00pm on Monday, March 18, 2013. A private burial will occur at a later date.

Memorials may be made to the Albany Museum of Art, 311 Meadowlark Drive, Albany, GA 31707; or 229-439-8400.

The Mackey Mortuary, Greenville. Online registry


Published in The Greenville News on Mar. 15, 2013
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