Dr. Kenneth Allen 'Al' Harper (Georgia)

Surrounded by his family, Dr. Kenneth Allen "Al" Harper died at home in coastal Georgia on Sunday, October 8, 2017.

Born in Barnwell County, he was the son of the late Harry Harper and Jeanette Ussery Harper. His family later moved to Athens, Georgia where he enjoyed his years at Athens High School, graduating in 1955. He went on to earn degrees from the University of Georgia and the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. He interned in Birmingham, Alabama; completed his surgical residency in Macon, Georgia; and specialized in Plastic Surgery at Baylor University in Texas. He practiced medicine in Savannah, Georgia for several years before opening a practice in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1974. He enjoyed 30-plus years of practice in the Knoxville area. His patients often praised his commitment to perfection in his work, and enjoyed his down-to-earth nature and sense of humor.

Dr. Harper’s attention to detail not only served him well as a surgeon, but also as an artist. He loved painting wildlife, historical subjects, and nature. He often gave his paintings to others as treasured gifts. Other loves included listening to bluegrass music, growing roses on his Tennessee farm, reading about American history, watching college football, carpentry, and caring for all his dogs and cats over the years. He enjoyed travels to Ireland, Great Britain, and British Columbia … as well as many family vacations to the beach. More than anything, Dr. Harper loved playing and laughing with his grandchildren. His took pride in his role as a loving Papa.

Dr. Harper is survived by his wife, the Rev. Cannon Barbara Anne Harper; and four children: Suzanne Sharpe of Knoxville, Tenn.; Paul Jones of Knoxville, Tenn.; Kelly Gonzalez of Richmond Hill, Ga.; and Bill Harper of Gatlinburg, Tenn. He is also survived by twelve grandchildren; brother, Dr. Marion C. Harper of Nashville, Tenn.; and close cousin, Lucille Parsons of Barnwell County.

The family will hold a service in several weeks. Details will follow when arrangements are made.

For individuals wishing to honor Dr. Harper’s memory with a charitable donation, the family suggests Operation Smile at 1-888-249-3797 or http://www.operationsmile.org/. Dr. Harper was devoted to helping children with surgical needs, including those with the same condition addressed by Operation Smile. He would be proud to have his memory play a role in helping a child.