John Thomas ‘JT’ Bottom III

Published 10:32 am Friday, September 22, 2023

John Thomas “JT” Bottom III, son of the late Rear Admiral John Thomas Bottom Jr. and Gloria Quinn Thames Bottom of Vicksburg died Friday, September 15th in hospice care in Gig Harbor, WA from Alzheimer’s Disease.

Born May 15, 1947, in Coronado, Calif. while his father was still on active duty, he was known as “Johnny” growing up in Vicksburg from the age of three until he left for college.

The Bottom family home, just outside the gates of Vicksburg National Military Park, was a pre-civil war house that they named “Anchor to Windward” — a naval expression for dropping anchor on the windward side of a ship during a storm to prevent drift or running aground.

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At the University of Mississippi, he pledged Sigma Chi and earned both his BA and his MBA while in Army ROTC. At graduation, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant and served in Germany for three years.

After the military, he worked and excelled in the world of technology leasing and finance in Tennessee, California, Oregon and Washington.

In 1992, JT married Julie Burgess (née Porter) in Memphis. In 1997 the family (additions being daughter Sophie, and mother Glo) moved to the Pacific Northwest — first to Oregon (Julie’s home state) and later to Washington.

He was a lifelong Episcopalian and a stalwart advocate for civil rights.

The most notable thing about JT was the way in which he collected and kept friends for a lifetime from his childhood even into his days of diminished capacity. He never met a stranger and was generous and trusting to a fault. Known as the life of the party and a fabulous storyteller, he was always up for adventure and fun.

Live music (rock-n-roll, blues, Americana), dancing, Ole Miss sports, skiing, hiking, camping, golfing and traveling were the pastimes that he enjoyed exuberantly.

His infectious zest for life was legendary. He was the model of cheerfulness, joy, and gratitude no matter his circumstances.

The last articulation that he lost was “thank you” — much to the astonishment of all his caregivers.

He is survived by his wife, daughter Sophie Groves (Loren), and grandson Graham Groves. He is preceded in death by two wives, Lynn Marshall and Terry Conrad, and an infant granddaughter, Mia Groves.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be directed to the JT Memorial Fund at Health Bridges International — or to the JT Bottom Memorial Fund at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Gig Harbor, WA where a funeral service and reception will be held at noon November 18th.