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John Montgomery Jemison


1922 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
John Montgomery Jemison Obituary
John Montgomery Jemison

Memphis, TN

John Montgomery Jemison, DDS, sang his last song on June 22nd, 2017, in Bangor, Maine.

A lifelong Memphian, he was born the son of Blanche and W.D. Jemison on September 29, 1922. "Jack" attended Snowden Elementary and Central High School, and graduated from Southwestern, (Rhodes), a proud member of Kappa Alpha fraternity.

After serving a year in the Army, Jack elected to pursue a career in oral surgery. His thirst for knowledge was insatiable. Over his 40 years of practice, he further specialized in endodontics, dental implants, and orthodontics. A pioneer of expansion dental appliances, his articles were published in the ADA Journal.

Jack later served in the Korean War as Captain in the Air Force. While at Donaldson AFB, he fell in love with aviation and barbershopping, later becoming a private pilot and forming a quartet, "The Air Fours". 50 years later he was still performing barbershop with his beloved "Dixie Cottonbowl Chorus" and quartet "Quicksilver".

Jack's music career started at age seven on the radio. A professional tenor soloist, he performed with Opera Memphis, The Memphis Symphony Chorus, at Temple Israel on Fridays, and Sunday mornings at Lindenwood Christian Church for almost 70 years, where he served as a Deacon. The affectionately called "singing, flying dentist" had many other talents and interests. His love of wine and beer making inspired him to purchase the supply shop, "The Winery" and move it to Overton Square. He was also a brilliant bridge player, teacher, and Life Master. Jack adored trout fishing, most often with his family on the White River.

An enthusiastic Boy Scout Master, Jack led weekly Troop 241 meetings for decades, spending summers at Kamp Kia Kima (Arkansas) and Philmont Scout Ranch (New Mexico). He was presented the BSA District Award of Merit, and later the prestigious Silver Beaver Award, signed by President Johnson, for his years of exceptional character and self sacrifice.

One of Jack's scouts introduced him to the love of his life, Jan. His spirit now rejoins that of his beloved wife of over 60 years who passed away last June. Jack was a kind, gentle Southern man who deeply loved his family and relished life to the very end. He had an undeniably joyous, fulfilled life.

Jack was predeceased by his brothers, W.D. Jemison, Jr., and Frank Z Jemison, and survived by his sister, Joy Nichols, his daughter and son-in-law, Jill and Peter Margolin, his son and daughter-in-law, John and Shelley Jemison, and his granddaughter, Shoshana Margolin.

Dr. Jemison's Celebration of Life Service will be held on September 3, 2017 at 3 p.m. in the Lindenwood Christian Church sanctuary, with a reception following.

Donations in Jack's honor may be given to the Lindenwood Christian Church Music Ministry.
Published in The Commercial Appeal on July 9, 2017
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