May 4, 1930- November 8, 2005
Jim D. Kent, retired Conyers businessman and prominent Rotarian, passed away in the early morning on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at his home on Lake Oconee in Eatonton, Ga. after a year long battle with lung cancer.
A native of Wills Point, Texas, Jim and his family moved to Conyers, Ga., in 1973. He and his first wife, Bette, founded Associated Paper Inc., a paper products distributing company, in 1967, and he served as its chairman until his death. Throughout his business career, Jim devoted much of his time and energy to service in Rotary International, serving as a member and officer in several Rotary Clubs, including the East Dekalb, Stone Mountain, Conyers, and Putnam-Greene County clubs.
Upon his retirement in 1986, Jim and his second wife, Carole, moved to Lake Oconee.
During his retirement, Jim continued his dedicated service to Rotary by serving as the 1990-1991 District Governor for district 6910, a trustee and district vice chairman of the Georgia Rotary Student Program (GRSP), and charter member and founder of the Rockdale County and Putnam-Greene County Rotary clubs. Jim received numerous awards in recognition of his long service to Rotary, including the Frank Meritt Award as Rotarian of the Year in 1979 and the Lee Arrendale Award for 2005 in recognition of his exceptional service in civic and business affairs. He was a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, a Will Watt Fellow, and a Hue Thomas Fellow.
Of his extensive service to Rotary, Jim took great pleasure in hosting a number of GRSP students from other countries, and remained a mentor to many of them long after their participation in the program. He and Carole hosted the GRSP summer meeting for many years. Among his many pastimes, Jim's most favorite pursuits were the game of competitive level croquet and fly fishing.
As an avid croquet player, he founded the Lake Oconee Croquet Society, encouraged the development of the tournament level croquet courts at Harbor Club and Reynolds Landing, and tutored many local residents in appreciating a game completely different from the causal backyard game. For the croquet that Jim mastered and taught is a game of complex strategies and maneuvers known as American six wicket croquet played on a competitive level in tournaments sanctioned by the United Croquet Association.
Jim was a devoted Christian in service as a member, elder and Sunday school teacher to Presbyterian churches in Conyers and Union Point. At his death, he was a member of the Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church.
Jim was predeceased by his first wife Bette Spencer Kent, and is survived by his wife Carole Ann Kent; daughter, Linda Scott (Tony Scott) of Buckhead, Ga.; sons Ronnie Kent (Debbie) of Conyers, Ga., and Alan Kent (Carlita) of Greensboro, Ga.; two step-sons, Terry Galloway of Conyers, Ga., and Scott Galloway of Madison, Ga. Also surviving are his sisters, Sarah Otto and Pat Adams of Dallas, Texas; and brother, H.L Kent of Wills Point, Texas, along with several nieces and nephews.
He is further survived by four grandchildren, Marie Kent, Michelle Kent, Molly Kent and Robert Galloway; and one great-grandchild, Ella Noonan.
The memorial service celebrating Jim's life will be held at the Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church located at, 113 Scott Road, Eatonton, Ga., on Saturday, Nov. 12, beginning at 3 p.m. The family will receive friends at the church on Friday, Nov. 11, from 6-8 p.m. A period of visitation will precede the memorial service beginning at 2 p.m.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy be in the form of donations in memory of Jim Kent to: Georgia Rotary Student Program, P.O. Box 61327, Savannah, GA 31420; Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church, 113 Scott Road, Eatonton, GA 31024; American Cancer Society, 1684 Barnett Shoals Road, Athens, GA 30605, Attn. Cindy.