Cover photo for Kate Mckemie's Obituary
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1924 Kate 2011

Kate Mckemie

February 13, 1924 — May 6, 2011

Dr. Kate McKemie (87) of Decatur, Georgia, Professor Emerita of Agnes Scott College, passed away on May 6, 2011, after a brief illness and several months of declining health. She is survived by three generations of nieces and nephews, family and friends who cherish her hearty and generous spirit. Dr. McKemie was born on February 13, 1924, at her parents' home near Ft. Gaines, Georgia. She was the fourth child of Jennie Claude Hammack and Henry Grady McKemie. From an early age, she delighted in being outdoors on her family's farm, horseback riding, fishing in the pond, hunting, and playing tennis. Her enthusiasm for the outdoors and sports continued throughout her life. A single woman all her life, Dr. McKemie was career-minded, with strongly held convictions about the value of liberal arts education, a woman's value to society, and the needs of the less fortunate, including individuals with special needs. She earned her bachelor's degree at Georgia State College for Women, her masters at Ohio State, and her Ph.D at the University of Tennessee. She taught physical education at Agnes Scott from 1956-1988, and built a rich life around the college community she proudly served as professor, coach, chairman of the Physical Education Department, and Convocation Marshall. Not only did she teach "Scotties" the fundamentals of fitness, tennis, field hockey, and basketball, but graciously entertained students, faculty, staff, and alumnae at her historic home on S. Candler Street. Kate was particularly known for her gregarious nature and infectious personality. She was a warm, loving person who shared her love of life with her friends and students. Many alumnae will recall how she would lean out of the casement window of the old gym to yell her trademark greeting, "Morning, Glories." Kate genuinely enjoyed being with people, and when college ended in May, she could be found as a leader at one of several summer camps, including Camp Merrie-Woode in Cashiers, North Carolina, and Camp Juliette Low in North Georgia. While she was regaled for her outgoing personality, which was obvious to all, Kate was also genuinely sensitive and compassionate, with an abiding sense of loyalty and affection for family. She was the older sister to a brother with special needs, and she lovingly devoted many years of her life in concern and care for him. She was also a fun-loving aunt to her many nieces and nephews, good for playing tricks on them as children, but quick to lend them her car or a sympathetic ear. When she was not teaching, Kate was an avid gardener and was particularly gifted in her work with camellias. She successfully propagated many from seeds and through air layering, and introduced new varieties of camellias which she shared with her family and friends. She was an active member of the North Georgia Camellia Society for many years. Kate McKemie was proceeded in death by her siblings, Virginia McKemie, Dr. William Frank McKemie, Merle McKemie Wyche and Henry Grady McKemie, Jr.. Surviving her are her sister-in-law, Betty Bonser McKemie, numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, and grand nieces and nephews, including: Virginia "Eva" McKemie Greene, Nancy McKemie Reardon, Dr. William Frank McKemie, Jr., Charles Gordon McKemie, Henry Grady "Ben" McKemie, Madison Baker Wyche III, Henry McKemie Wyche, Barbara Hammack Wyche Marxer, Caroline Virginia Wyche McLean, their spouses and children. Additionally, her two dear friends and colleagues, Dr. Kay Manuel and Alverta (Bertie) Bond, predeceased her. Between the three, Kate, Kay and Bertie generated more than 100 combined years of service to Agnes Scott College. A memorial service in celebration of Kate's life will be held at Decatur Presbyterian Church, where she was a member for many years, at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 9, 2011, with a reception following. A.S. Turner & Sons is handling arrangements. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Agnes Scott College in memory of Dr. Kate McKemie.

Funeral Home:
A. S. Turner & Sons
2773 North Decatur Road
Decatur, GA

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, May 8, 2011

4:00 - 5:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Decatur Presbyterian Church

205 Sycamore Street, Decatur, GA 30030

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Monday, May 9, 2011

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