Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 23, 2013

Tony Douglas

The Athens Review

Athens — Funeral services for Tony Douglas, 83, of Athens will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26 at the First Baptist Church of Athens with Larry Fondren officiating. Eulogies will be given by Tom Perryman and Tracy Pitcox.  Burial will follow with military honors at the Athens Cemetery.  Tony went to be with his Lord and Savior on Jan. 22, 2013.

Tony Douglas was born April 12, 1929 outside Martins Mill to Hubert Gideon Douglas and Artie Marie Jones Douglas.  At the age of 10, he trusted Christ as his Savior while attending Hobbs Missionary Baptist Church.  He grew up on a farm, and went to school in Martins Mill, and enjoyed hunting and fishing along Kickapoo Creek. 

He married Margaret “Mim” Reaves on March 5, 1949.  He was drafted into the Army in 1952, and served with the 45th Anti-Aircraft Battalion in Kaiserslautern, Germany.  During his overseas duty, he was invited to sing at the NCO club with a small band.  The GIs enjoyed Tony’s style of music, and he became a part of the band until he returned to the states.

Following an honorable discharge in 1954, Tony took employment with Lone Star Gas Company in Athens,  and continued to pursue a music career on weekends.  In 1956, he recorded his first record, and was invited to appear as a guest on the Louisiana Hayride.  After his second appearance, he signed a 3-year contract. 

In 1961, he gained national attention with his song “SHRIMPIN,” and his band became known as Tony Douglas and the Shrimpers.  Another great single, “THANK YOU FOR TOUCHING MY LIFE,” was released in 1972.  For over three decades, Tony Douglas and The Shrimpers criss-crossed the nation, bringing enjoyment to multitudes of people.

His country-disciplined up-bringing made a big impact on his life. He was tagged Mr. Nice Guy of country music, and he desired to be remembered as “a man who kept his shows clean, where you could always take the family, and not be afraid of what might be said or done.” 

He was a lifetime member of the Country Music Association.  In 1995, he was inducted into the Country Music Association of Texas Hall of Fame.

Tony was a longtime member of Central Baptist Church of Athens, and was most recently a member of Landmark Missionary Baptist Church.  For the past several years, he enjoyed operating “Papa T’s” in Athens with his wife Mim. Here he enjoyed meeting people, making new friends and sharing his love of country music.  Tony was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Sarita Stegall.

Tony is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mim Douglas of Athens; sons, Hank Douglas of Jacksonville, Jason Douglas and wife Kim of Heath; daughter, Tonya Mowery and husband Randy of San Antonio; sisters, Wathena Douglas Rubin of Martins Mill, Kay Etheridge of Kemp; brother, Pecos Douglas and wife Nancy of Houston; seven grandchildren; one great-grandchild and numerous nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers include members of the Shrimpers’ band, including Chuck Jennings, Terry Castle, Jerry Metheny, James Smith, Robin Hood Brians, John Kirby and Junior Knight.

The Douglas family would like to express heartfelt appreciation to the doctors and nursing staff of ETMC Athens for their compassionate concern and care.

Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 25 at Carroll-Lehr Funeral Home in Athens.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Landmark Baptist Church, 1313 Palestine Highway, Athens, TX 75751, or an organization of choice.

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