Cover photo for J.K. Lathem's Obituary
1933 J.K. 2023

J.K. Lathem

December 22, 1933 — January 5, 2023

Easley, SC


Joseph Kennon (J.K.) Lathem

 Easley, SC  

Mr. Joseph Kennon (J.K.) Lathem, 89, loving father, devoted husband, dedicated servant and community leader passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 5, 2023 after a short illness.

Born to the late Kannon Augusta (K.A.) and Jessie Looper from the Dacusville Community of Pickens County, SC on December 22, 1933, he was the oldest of two sons. J.K. is preceded in death by his parents and brother Richard  Frank Lathem; Wives, Della Sapp Lathem (1940-2000), and Margie Kelly Lathem (1930 - 2018)  He is survived by  three children; Jerome (Joni) Lathem of Easley, SC, Junelle (Bob) White of Charlotte, NC, and Jessica (Brian) DeHaven of Duluth, MN.  Six grandchildren, Jeremy (Jenna) Lathem, and Kelli (Clark) Teat of Easley SC, Emma White of New York City, NY, Samuel White of Chapel Hill, NC, Maggie (Jordan) Gagne of St. Paul, MN and Joshua DeHaven of Anoka, MN; and four great-grandchildren Julian, Lilyanna, Colton and Alister,  

J.K. graduated from the SC School for the Deaf (SCSD) in 1954, and enjoyed a 42-year career with the Grenville News experiencing the evolution of printing from Linotype to digital composition. At an early age he found his love of farming with his dad and continued for many years.

Throughout his life he was committed to Christ and his community. In 1964, he was a co-founding Trustee of The Fellowship Hall for the Deaf which planted seeds for the First Baptist Church of the Deaf (FBCD) in Greenville SC in1985.  He served FBCD as a Founder, Deacon, Treasurer, leader and mentor. In addition to participating in Missions such as World Changers, Summer Deaf Camp and other local ministry projects, he worked tirelessly so that Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and adults would have opportunities to grow, learn, socialize, compete, and deepen their faith through sports, clubs, activities, and ministry.

J.K. was an active member of his church and multiple organizations including the SC School for the Deaf and Blind Alumni Association, The SC Association of the Deaf, Southern Baptist Conference of the Deaf, and SC Deaf Golfers Association.

While at SCSD, J.K. enjoyed all kinds of sports. In 1987 he was inducted into the SCSDB Athletic Hall of Fame for football, which was his passion.

J.K. has left an indelible mark of love, commitment, and compassion, with a full dose of humor, on all of us. He was truly a remarkable man.  

The family would like to express a heartfelt thank you to those who helped care for him, especially The Little Flower of Charlotte for the love and care they provided.  

The family will receive friends from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm on Wednesday, January 11,2023 at Robinson’s Funeral Home – Downtown Easley, SC. A private burial will follow at the Lathem Family cemetery. A celebration of life service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be in his memory to the “JK Lathem Sport Fund” at the SC School for the Deaf and Blind Foundation. 

Condolences may be expressed online at or in person at Robinson Funeral Home  Downtown, which is assisting the family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of J.K. Lathem, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, January 11, 2023

10:00am - 12:00pm (Eastern time)

Robinson Funeral Home Downtown

305 West Main Street, Easley, SC 29641

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