Cover photo for John Tom Scarborough's Obituary
John Tom Scarborough Profile Photo

John Tom Scarborough

October 17, 1938 — December 17, 2023

Elberton, GA

John Tom Scarborough

Mr. John Tom Scarborough, 85, of John Scarborough Drive, Elberton, entered into rest on Sunday, December 17, 2023, at Elbert Memorial Hospital surrounded by his family. 

A lifelong resident of Elberton, Mr. Scarborough was the eldest of five children born to John Henry Scarborough and Mary Frances Moon Scarborough. John Tom married the love of his life, Peggy Jean Leard, on September 13, 1956, and was proud to have celebrated 67 years of marriage. A hardworking man, he quit school at the age of 16 in order to work. Mr. Scarborough later returned to night school and proudly obtained his high school diploma at the age of 40 in 1978, the same year his daughter Arelia graduated. 

John Tom worked in various retail jobs, including Sanders Furniture Store, before joining the City of Elberton. He became a police officer in 1964 and worked as such until 1969. Mr. Scarborough became a fire fighter in 1969, and remained with the fire department until 2003, retiring as Captain. John Tom always kept part-time jobs outside of the fire department, most notably as a custodian at the city’s municipal building. He was a veteran having served in the Army National Guard. 

A man of great faith, he was a dedicated member of Forest Hills Assembly of God where he served as deacon for many years. Mr. Scarborough’s faith never wavered, regardless of what life brought his way. John Tom could often be found sitting outside, reading his Bible - something he did daily. Even when he couldn’t do anything else - dementia never robbed his ability to study God’s word. 

Mr. Scarborough never missed a day walking for exercise as long as he could, often arriving early to work in order to walk around Elberton. John Tom planted a vegetable garden each year, and often shared the fruits of his labor with family and friends. He enjoyed camping and taking short trips to the mountains. Mr. Scarborough, despite his sometimes peculiar ways, was well respected throughout the community. John Tom was known for his frugalness and was often generous to a fault - never wanting praise or acknowledgement. He never missed an opportunity to help some one in need - whether it be offering sound advice, helping them financially, or simply being there when they needed a listening ear. 

Surviving, in addition to his wife Peggy, are his children and their spouses: Vicki and Kenneth Little of Elberton, GA, James and Gale Scarborough of Donalsonville, GA, Arelia and Randy Lane of Elberton, GA, Deborah Jordan, wife of the late Jimmy Jordan, of Elberton, GA, and John Paul and Kelly Scarborough of Jacksonville, AR; siblings: George Earl and Jean Scarborough, Kenneth and Phyllis Scarborough, and Patsy Scarborough, all of Elberton; grandchildren: Amber Little, Brooke and Eric Johanson, Katie Smith, Sandra Scarborough, Jessica and Will Bundy, Cameron Scarborough, Christopher and Jessica Black; great-grandchildren: Brynner Jerrell, Erica Johanson, Eli Johanson, Jaleah Scarborough, Mallory Smith, Addy Eakin, Raegan Bundy, Skylair Black, Ava Black, and Benjamin Black; and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends. 

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his sister and brother-in-law, Mary Ann and Jerry Beggs. 

The family is at the residence and will receive friends on Tuesday, December 19, from 6:00-8:00p.m. at Berry Funeral Home. 

Funeral services celebrating John Tom's life will be held on Wednesday, December 20, at 11:00a.m. in the Memorial Chapel of Berry Funeral Home with Rev. James Scarborough officiating and military honors rendered by the U.S. Army.

Interment will follow in Elmhurst Cemetery with fireman honors by the Forsyth County Honor Guard. Pallbearers will include Kyle Scarborough, Tim Beggs, Eric Johanson, David Smith, Will Bundy, and David Mattox. Honorary pallbearers will include any retired or active fire fighters in attendance.  

Flowers are accepted and contributions may be made in his memory to Gideons International, PO Box 6211, Elberton, GA 30635 or T.J. & Friends Foundation, PO Box 6161, Elberton, GA 30635.

Those wishing may sign the online guestbook at

Berry Funeral Home & Crematory of Elberton is respectfully in charge of arrangements for Mr. John Tom Scarborough.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Tom Scarborough, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Tuesday, December 19, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Wednesday, December 20, 2023

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