Lafayette Young Kenimer

December 14, 1913 ~ December 7, 2008 (age 94)

Lafayette Young Kenimer was born in Leaf (White County), Georgia, the second of four children of Michael Anderson and Clara Estelle Skelton Kenimer. He has an older brother, Barnett, and two younger siblings, Hazel and Chester. It has been said that the measure of a man''s influence can be assessed by the number of names he acquires. By this measure, "Lafay," "L.Y.," "Kenimer," "Mr. Y," "Daddy," "Papa," "Dad," and "Pops," is much adored. Lafayette Young Kenimer feared God, loved people, and had an unparalleled passion for life! These characteristics endeared him to everyone his life touched.

The passions of his long and blessed life were many. Anchored by his Christian faith, his family was the center of his life and began with his marriage to his life-long partner, Zelma Holcomb, in 1939. Their union was blessed with the arrival of three children, Josephine, Barry Keith, and Elizabeth Anderson, and continues to grow with grandchildren (eight) and great-grand children (eighteen, to date). There are the gifts of so many stories and wonderful recollections, but the summary is that it was through the example of Lafay''s love that we now understand God''s love. He practiced his faith through service in his church, too. He was a dedicated member of First Baptist Church from his arrival in Greensboro in 1940, and through the years, Sunday School Superintendent, junior department boys Sunday School teacher, and enthusiastic member of the Golden Tones.

Another of Lafay''s passions was his community. He was a grocer (actually, an exceptionally good butcher), for many years and retired as Greensboro city manager. He belonged to the Lyons Club and was elected to many of the organization''s leadership positions including president. In 2008, he received the 60-year pin and apron of the Masons. His involvement with the people he loved spanned generations, ethnic groups, and social strata as he served multiple terms on the Greensboro City Council, as a Boy Scout Troop leader, and later, as an active contributor to the society at Willow Run Retirement Community..

Though the things he accomplished are numerous and meaningful, the person he is stands as his greatest legacy. Lafay showed us all how to live. He hunted, golfed, played cards, sang, and whistled. He square danced, buck danced, jitter-bugged, and twisted. He fixed dolls; crafted wooden furniture, birdhouses, and reindeer; cooked pink candy, jelly, banana pudding, and toasted pecans; drove police cars, back hoes, and fifty-five Chevys; told amazing stories and hilarious jokes; survived a plane crash and cancer; as "Marilyn Monroe," married "Joe DiMaggio" in a woman-less wedding; fought with goats; and rubbed a thousand dollars-worth of quarters into his elbow. But "Fisherman" is the most enduring of all the vivid images - Lafay was the fishing master. When he fished (and it was often), it was "man against fish," with a single-mindedness worthy of an Olympian. According to many in our family, Lake Oconee is actually "Papa''s Lake." And all good fisherman in Greene County can trace their early and most productive pointers (and fishing tales) back to him.

Lafay was a devoted Christian, husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather who touched many lives during his tenure here. He was a powerful man, spiritually, physically, and emotionally, who formed strong and resilient relationships with those who shared this common time. His legacy of faith, joy, goodness, gratitude, honor, integrity, and love will inspire us for many generations. Yet, at the very same time, this world is an emptier place without him today. So along with lambs, lions, a new Jerusalem, his dearest loves, and old friends, Heaven must surely have a great fishing hole where he''s actively engaged praising God and celebrating his new life. Lafay''s "gone fishing."

We thank God for letting us have Lafay with us for so long and inspirational a time and for the salvation through Christ that will ensure our rejoining him for eternity.

He is survived by daughters, Josephine Kenimer Nixon, husband Dr. William Harold Nixon of Spartanburg, SC and Dr. Elizabeth Anderson Kenimer Leibach, husband, Dr. Friedrich Hartmut Leibach of Augusta, GA; son, Dr. Barry Keith Kenimer, wife, Donna Brown Kenimer of Montrose, CO; granddaughters: Sally Elizabeth Nixon Carroll, husband, Patrick Roberts Carroll of Spartanburg, SC, Amy Kenimer Nixon Oakes, husband, Corry Winston Oakes, lll of Spartanburg, SC, Courtney Young Kenimer Keane, husband, Jeffrey Sullivan Keane of St. Louis, MO, Megan Hansen Kenimer Suermann of Montrose, CO; grandsons: William Harold Nixon, Jr. wife, Courtney Jones Nixon of Charleston, SC, Barry Keith Kenimer, Jr., Wife, Allison Taylor Kenimer of Grand Junction, CO, Karl Needham Kenimer (deceased), John Lafayette Draper, Augusta, GA; great granddaughters: Madison Lafayette Fievet of Kansas City, MO, Ashley Kenimer Oakes, Elizabeth Iles Oakes, and Lauren Kirkland Oakes of Spartanburg, SC, Natalya Nixon-Gray Carroll of Spartanburg, SC, Grace Christensen Keane and Hope Dorothea Keane of St. Louis, MO, Taylor Hannah Kenimer and Lily Young Kenimer of Grand Junction, MO and Chloe Mayfield Kenimer Suermann of Montrose, CO; great grandsons: William Harold Nixon, III, Bishop Harris Nixon, Jacob Sullivan Keane, Joshua Holcomb Keane and Ethan Carroll Keane of St.Louis, MO, Spencer Frost Kenimer and Nathaniel Brown Kenimer of Grand Junction, CO. Noah Michael Kenimer Suermann, Montrose, CO.

Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Greensboro with Rev. Michael Hardy officiating. Interment will follow in the Greensboro City Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers are William Harold Nixon, Jr., Barry Keith Kenimer, Jr., John Lafayette Draper, John Callaway, Larry D. Smith and William Corbett Holcomb. The family requests that any memorials be made to The First Baptist Church, 203 S. Main Street, Greensboro, GA 30642. McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of arrangements. Visit us at to sign the online guest register.

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