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The Reverend Samuel Alexander Tomlinson, III.

September 8, 1935 August 17, 2021
The Reverend Samuel Alexander Tomlinson, III.
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Obituary for The Reverend Samuel Alexander Tomlinson, III.
The Rev. Samuel Alexander Tomlinson, III
MADISON- The Rev. Samuel Alexander Tomlinson, III, 85, born September 8, 1935, in Natchez, died August 17, 2021, at St. Dominic’s Hospital in Jackson.
Sam was a retired Episcopal Priest who during sixty years of ordained ministry served churches from Corinth in the North to Natchez in the South, with a brief sojourn in Arkansas. He reflected with especially poignant memories on his time as Rector of Grace Church, Canton, during some of the most turbulent Civil Rights years. Throughout his life, Sam worked for racial reconciliation. While in Canton, Sam served as Priest in Charge at the Chapel of the Cross which in those years had about ten members! In later life, Sam loved being Vicar of St. James, Port Gibson, and, in retirement, Assisting Priest for five years at Trinity, Natchez and Supply Priest at the former Good Shepherd, Vidalia., LA.
Sam grew up in Jackson, graduating in 1954 from Central High School. He went on to Millsaps, which he loved, majoring in history. Bishop Duncan Gray (the first of our three Bishops Gray) felt that Sam needed some sophistication, so he sent him to the General Theological Seminary in New York City –a true culture shock for Sam. He thrived and returned to Mississippi in 1961 to begin his ministry.
Through the many years, Sam served his church with devotion, including terms on the Diocesan Executive Council and as Spiritual Director for the Episcopal Cursillo. He also was on the Board of the Mississippi Food Network and active in local service organizations. He will be most remembered, though, for his big smile and the loving spirit he brought to the pastoral care he offered his parishioners.
Sam loved his retirement years in Natchez and his last seven years at St. Catherine’s Village in Madison. He was proud of his family heritage – his grandfather was an early Gulfport settler, and his mother was a fifth generation Natchezian. He took joy in donating to the Mississippi Department of History and Archives the only known surviving copy of the 1817 Rules of Order for the Mississippi Territorial Legislature, a pamphlet found among family papers.
Sam was predeceased by his parents, Sam A. Tomlinson, Jr. and Jane Stewart Tomlinson and his sister, Ruth Tomlinson Lewis. Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Susanne, his sons William (Pauline), Chattanooga, TN, and Andrew (Jennifer), Clinton, his beloved grandchildren Anna and Joshua, his brothers-in-law Rev. Don Lewis and Robert H. Smith, and other much loved extended family members.
Sam’s family would like to thank the compassionate caregivers on Tuscany 2 at St. Catherine’s and also the medical staff at St. Dominic’s who cared for Sam during his last, difficult days. You all have our profound gratitude.
Due to covid concerns, Sam’s life and ministry will be celebrated by the family at a small requiem service, followed by burial in Natchez.
Memorials, if desired, may be made to Natchez Stewpot, PO Box 298, Natchez, MS 39121, the Natchez Adams Humane Society, the Mississippi Food Network, or a charity of choice.
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Event Information

Private Requiem Eucharist, St. Columb's Episcopal Church

Cemetery Details


Natchez City Cemetery Final Resting Place

2 Cemetery Rd,
Natchez, MS 39120

2 Cemetery Rd, Natchez 39120 MS
United States

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