Gussie Tompkins Knight
Gussie T. Knight, 81, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at her home in Madison, Georgia. She was born April 15, 1938 in Lee, Florida to the late William Benjamin and Mary Samantha Tompkins.
She married Jesse DeWitt Knight of Lake Butler, Florida on December 29, 1956. She is survived by her three children Donna Conner (Bruce) and William DeWitt Knight both of Madison, and Deanna Nunn (David) of Bostwick, three grandchildren Emily Nowlen (Randy) of Braselton, Allen Conner of Madison, and Peyton Nunn of Atlanta; a brother Larry Tompkins (Myrtice) of Madison, Florida; and many nephews and nieces. She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years Jesse DeWitt Knight, her sister Martha Kelley, and her parents.
After marriage Gussie followed her husband DeWitt from Florida to Georgia as he worked as a forester for International Paper Company. Upon locating in Madison, Georgia they decided to put down roots to raise their family. They became members of The First United Methodist Church of Madison. When the opportunity presented itself, she purchased a flower shop at 136 West Jefferson Street. For 49 years Gussie’s House of Flowers has been an integral part of Madison’s business community. Customers represented generations who experienced her caring, generous and hardworking business ethic. She designed a life she loved, and she made her community of Madison a better and more beautiful place to live. The most memorable and significant events in the lives of her customers were marked by her beautiful floral creations. Her hand tied bows helped to mark occasions of all types and are cherished by those who possess them.
Gussie was an active and enthusiastic booster of Downtown Madison through her sponsorship and support of seasonal festivals, street dances, and street decorating efforts. Gussie teamed with business owners to bring about needed improvements. Through the years many things evolved and changed in Madison but Gussie faithfully served her customers at the same location for almost half a century.
In March 2003, her health declined requiring her to receive an organ transplant. We will always be grateful to the organ donor and their family as well as the physicians and staff at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. She was one of Dr. Dan Zant ‘s first patients in Madison and his coordination with the Jacksonville medical team gave her the gift of an additional 17 years to spend with her family. A special thanks to caregivers Lena Hurt and Sandy Chapman for their love and care of our mother.
The family received friends on Thursday, January 30, from 5 to 7 at A. E. Carter Funeral Home. The funeral service was at 11:00 am Friday, January 31, in the chapel of A. E. Carter Funeral Home. Interment followed at Madison Memorial Cemetery. Memorials may be made to The First United Methodist Church of Madison or the charity of your choice.