Laura Jane “Lolly” Coker Thigpen
November 24, 1926 – December 28, 2020
Laura Jane “Lolly” Coker Thigpen, 94, of Macon, Georgia, went to be with her Lord and Savior on December 28, 2020, after a meaningful and long life filled with God, family and friends which gave her joy, purpose and passion.
She was born to the late C. E. and Laura Coker on November 24, 1926, in Turbeville, South Carolina. She grew up on Puddin Swamp, until leaving at the age of 16 to go to Bob Jones College where she received a B.A. Degree in Speech and Drama. On June 20, 1947, she married Charles Allen Thigpen, with whom she ministered for the next 73 years. She lived in Nashville, Tennessee, for 60 years, where she served as professor of speech and drama for 40 years at Welch College (formerly Free Will Baptist Bible College.) In 2006, she moved to Byron, Georgia, to be near family, where she faithfully continued to serve the Lord in her community and as a member of White Oaks Free Will Baptist Church in Macon, Georgia.
Lolly was a dedicated wife, loving mother and grandmother, faithful servant of the Lord, gifted teacher, speaker and story teller, and friend to many. She will be remembered as a prayer warrior, encourager, and both student and teacher of the Word. She was a soul winner, compassionately serving others and sharing Christ with her students, neighbors and each person God placed in her path. Her passion for Jesus was evident, especially in her many dramatic productions and in the way she invested her life in her students. She raised four children who grew to know, love and serve Jesus and pass His legacy on to the next generation. Truly, her children and thousands upon thousands of others rise up and call her blessed (Proverbs 31:28).
Lolly is survived by her daughters, Laura Cannon (Steve), Ann Maines (Gary), Ruth Slaten (Brad), and daughter-in-law Yvonne Thigpen (Jonathan, deceased), as well as 14 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren, and her brother, Dr. C. E. Coker, Jr., and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
Lolly was joined in heaven three days later by her dear husband of 73 years, Dr. Charles Allen Thigpen, and was preceded in death by her beloved son, Jonathan Noel Thigpen, her parents, Clarence and Laura Coker, and her brothers Ray Coker, Col. Larry Coker, Dr. Homer Coker and Donald Coker.
In lieu of flowers, the Thigpen family requests that memorial gifts be made to the “Thigpen Fine Arts Center” project at Welch College in Gallatin, Tennessee. Two years ago, Welch College launched an effort to name a wing of Celorio Hall on the new campus of Welch College the “Thigpen Fine Arts Center.” The purpose of the project is to perpetually honor the life and ministry of Dr. Charles A. and Laura Thigpen. The “Thigpen Fine Arts Center” will be the home of the drama and music departments of the college. Gifts may be sent to: “The Thigpen Fine Arts Center Project” c/o Welch College, 1045 Bison Trail, Gallatin, Tennessee, 37066.
Due to the restraints of COVID, there will be a memorial service and celebration of life at a later date. Please visit our website to leave memories, stories, and condolences. https://easlaten.wixsite.com/TheThigpens
“For her worth is far above jewels.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.
She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Her children rise up and bless her;
A woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:10, 25-26, 28, 30