Richard Spurgeon Ambrose

Published 3:25 pm Thursday, October 6, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Richard Spurgeon Ambrose, age 81, of 2580 Highway 90, Vienna, died Wednesday October 5, 2022, in Crisp Regional Hospital, Cordele. Born in Vienna, Spurgeon was son of the late Ben Thomas Ambrose and Sayra Adkins Ambrose. He was preceded in death by his brother Ben Thomas Ambrose, Jr.

Spurgeon graduated from Vienna High School in 1959.  He received a BBA from University of Georgia (1964), and a Master’s Degree in Public Service from Western Kentucky University (1977).  After graduation from the Army ROTC program at the University of Georgia, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry.  He attended a number of competitive military schools including the Infantry Officer’s Basic Course, Advanced Infantry Officer’s Course, Armed Forces Staff College, and the U.S. Army’s elite Airborne and Ranger Schools.  His command and staff service included two tours in Viet Nam with the 1st Cavalry Division and in the 7th Army in Germany.  Additionally, he had tours of duty in the 101st Airborne Infantry Division at Fort Campbell, KY and the US Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, GA. For his dedication and gallantry in service, he received multiple  awards of the Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.  When Spurgeon retired from active duty after twenty years with the U.S. Army, he continued his service to the nation by founding and leading the JROTC program at Dooly County High School for 13 years. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.

In retirement Spurgeon enjoyed working in his shop as he crafted chairs, swings, tables, birdhouses and other items of wood which he delighted in giving to friends. He made thousands of palm crosses which he distributed and gave for distribution by others. His place on Highway 90 was available to others without charge and has been the site of countless gatherings including family and class reunions, birthday parties, weddings, baptisms, and celebrations of holy communion.

Spurgeon served two terms as the Second Congressional District Representative on the Board of Juvenile Justice under Governor Nathan Deal.

Spurgeon is survived by his love for many years Jan Odom, his brother Bob J. Ambrose, his sister Alyce A. Black, and a special group of friends including his ATO and Army family and his long time caregivers Edna Mercer, Cora Cephus and Hattie Chaney.

Graveside services will be held at 4 pm Sunday, October 9 in Vienna City Cemetery.

Immediately following the interment, a Service of Remembrance and Celebration will be held at Spurgeon’s Place, 1622 Highway 90. An evening meal will be provided for all.

Memorial gifts may be given to the Sayra Amrose Scholarship Fund, c/o Gloria Ledford. Treasurer, 9320 Highway 27, Vienna, Georgia 31092.

Friends may sign the online register book at

Brannen-NeSmith Funeral Home of Vienna has charge of arrangements.