PORTAGEVILLE - Dr. L.B. Painter Jr., 81, died Oct. 8, 2002, at St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau.
Born Aug. 30, 1921, in Knoxville, Tenn., son of the late Lattie B. and Florence Beach Painter Sr., he graduated in 1939 from high school in Knoxville. He earned a bachelor of science degree and doctorate of medicine from The University of Tennessee in Memphis in 1944. While attending the University of Tennessee during World War II, he was enlisted in the U.S. Army. Painter was sent to Japan, where he served as a doctor of the American Occupational Forces attending soldiers in the War Crimes Tribune, including Tojo, the chief Japanese warlord.
Although born and raised in Knoxville, he decided to purchase the practice of a friend in a rural community close to the Mississippi River in Southeast Missouri named Portageville. Painter wanted to live in a small community where he would personally know the patients he cared for. After beginning his practice in Portageville in 1949, he made endless house calls and delivered many babies in the clinic and at homes. In 1968, he built a larger clinic for the welcomed addition of his brother, Dr. Andrew Painter, who still practices medicine in the Portageville clinic.
When the Salk Vaccine was released to the public in the 1950s, Painter was the first to make it available to area children in mass inoculations at school. He was regarded by his colleagues as being a superb medical doctor with a particularly uncanny ability for diagnostics.
The doctor was also noted for his love and care of his patients. He would always tease and joke around with them. Many have stated that just their visit alone made them feel better. He was a ray of sunshine to the whole community of Portageville and surrounding areas and will sadly be missed.
Dr. Painter retired from his medical practice in 1989, after 40 years of practicing medicine, to travel and enjoy his children and grandchildren. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Portageville.
On Dec. 4, 1948, in Knoxville, he married Margaret Jack who survives of the home.
Other survivors include: two sons and one daughter-in-law, Jim and Divina Painter of Overland, Kan., and John Painter of Germantown, Tenn.; two daughters and one son-in-law, Nancy and Brad Richmond of Orlando, Fla., and Karen Painter of Portageville; one brother, Dr. Andrew Painter of Portageville; one sister, and brother-in-law, Emmiline and Charlie Ashford of Germantown; and four grandchildren, Angela Richmond, Sarah Richmond, Lisa Richmond and Mark Painter.
Visitation begins at 5 p.m. today at DeLisle Funeral Home in Portageville.
Services will be conducted at the First Baptist Church of Portageville with the Rev. Dr. Mark Inman, pastor, officiating.
Burial will be at the Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery in Memphis.
Pallbearers will be: Mike Rone, Ronnie Adams, Stephen Kimes, Andy Ashford, Jonathan Ashford and Jake Rone.
Honorary pallbearers will be: Bill Boon, Albert "Bud" Sisson, Dr. O.A. Huck, Sherman Kimes, Louis Daughtery, Bub Lafont, Harold "Pee-Wee" Hayes, Mike Wiggins, Joe Simmons, Melvin Johnston, Melvin Shoults and Dr. t. Pattaropong.
Memorial contributions may be sent to:
the First Baptist Church Building Fund 608 DeLisle Portageville, Mo. 63873