What a wonderful world Joe Compton created for so many young people, both men and women, in the Southern Georgia area! I can remember as a youngster at Fitzgerald Junior High School that almost everyone was in total revere of this fine gentleman. He exhibited confidence, competence, encouragement, excitement, passion and enthusiasm that we all needed back then and still need now. If for some reason we didn’t get it from our friends and family, we got it from Joe.
One of my favorite poets said, “Whatever you do in this world don’t leave it with the music still in you.” Joe Compton did not leave us with the music still in him. He left it to us.
If I had to choose one word that described Joe it would be the “encourager.” Joe was also someone you wanted to emulate. When you had done your last wind sprint, run five more. If you’ve done 50 push-ups, do five more. Those extra five provided your body more benefit than the 50 prior to that. I call that “self-discipline.” So did he. That is probably the second most important thing that we learned from Joe.
I can go and on and on and list the wonderful attributes of Joe and Audis. Every time I mention his name I am compelled to mention hers. She stood right there with him and was just as important as he was, and she still is. To sum it up, he encouraged us to dig deep and come up within ourselves something extremely special – and we did that. The most important thing he taught us was “The Golden Rule.” Treat each other as we would want to be treated. Do the right thing at the right time, for the right reason. How unfortunate that we as human beings can’t do that all of the time. Even if we do it a fraction of the time, we would leave this world a much better place to live in, just like Joe did.
Thank you, Joe, for being the very special man that you are and have been and especially thank you for the many special things that you did and have done for others.
I know that those of you who are reading this realize that Joe had shaped, influenced and molded lives, not just as young adult men and women, but as adults. (literally thousands of lives) That same influence has gone through to our children. What a powerful statement to be able to say about an individual. (pay it forward)
Bless your heart, your soul and your mind, Joe and Audis. We love you. We always have and always will.
Joe and Audis provided us with “exceptional service” to mankind for us all to benefit and learn from.
May you rest in peace and may God’s grace and mercy be with you!
Dr. Carl E. Findley Jr. is a dentist in Albany. He played football for Coach Joe Compton at Fitzgerald High School.