John H. Carmichael, Jr.

January 15, 2024

John Carmichael, Jr. Obituary

John Carmichael, who died of cancer  Jan. 15 at age 76, is being remembered as a person who always put others above himself and devoted his life to good deeds. He is being mourned across Kershaw County by a host of friends who witnessed on a daily basis the good he did in the world.

Don Terrell, a close friend for many years, said of him, “John was a unique person who spent zero percent of his time thinking of himself and 100 percent of his time being of service to others. He was the most selfless individual I’ve ever met.” Don said that after many years of watching John help countless people with various time-consuming projects, he good-naturedly told him he needed to add the word no to his vocabulary when people made requests of him.. “That word didn’t translate into John’s thinking,” Don recalled with a laugh. He also recounted one of John’s signature projects: producing and installing hundreds of wood duck boxes in ponds and streams across Kershaw County; for those efforts he was awarded the Wildlife Conservationist Award by the South Carolina and National Wildlife Federations in 1988.  He was an enthusiastic hunter and sportsman his entire life.

Mike Davis, another longtime friend, echoed those sentiments. “He was a giving person, out to help anybody who needed assistance,” Davis said. “He was a wonderful man – honest, thoughtful, forthright. It was a great privilege to know him. He will be missed greatly by so many.”

Another friend recalled his gregarious nature. “John was a social animal,” that person recalled.  “He loved being around other people – sharing good food, wine, conversation. And he was as comfortable at a black-tie dinner as he was at a cookout in the woods. There was no pretense with John; what you saw was what you got.”   Indeed, the friend pointed out, “John was leader at times of two organizations – the Jackleg Club and the Parallax Club – which were vastly different in nature but revolved around fellowship with buddies. He simply loved the camaraderie of friends – serious conversations, jokes, debating issues…he relished interaction with others.”

That same friend said of John and his eventual battle with terminal cancer, “He accepted the grim challenge of his cancer diagnosis with the same grace that he exhibited for so many years in celebrating the numerous blessings life had bestowed upon him.”

That friend also talked of John’s career at the S. C. Department Of Corrections and his years as warden of Wateree River Correctional Institution in Boykin.   “Prison wardening is a demanding job, and John was good at it,” he said.  “He ran a buttoned-up organization.  But what I remember most is that he always had compassion for the inmates who lived within those prison boundaries. He had a deep, boundless faith.”

John and his wife, Ann Hagan, had perhaps the only “dove field marriage” in Kershaw County; they were introduced in 2000 by Tommy Cooper at one of John’s well-known hunting events in Boykin. She had retired to Camden from New York shortly before that, and after their courtship resulted in a marriage proposal from John, she insisted that he attend a Hagan family reunion in northern New York so he’d know exactly what he was getting into.  He agreed, they went to the reunion and all ended well; they lived happily ever after.

John Harllee Carmichael Jr. was born April 15, 1947 at Bethesda Naval Hospital (now Walter Reed) in Bethesda, MD, the son of John Harllee and Elizabeth Gordon Carmichael.

His maternal grandfather was the first Naval aviator in U. S. history.

He was a graduate of the University of South Carolina and worked for nearly 40 years for the S. C. Department of Corrections; after his stint as a warden, he finished his career as deputy director of programs and services. He is survived by his wife, Ann Hagan; daughter, Kathleen Carmichael of Florence; stepdaughter, Colleen Hagan of Cupertino, CA; three grandchildren: Anwar Ali-Ahmad of San, Jose, CA; Ahmad Ali-Ahmad of Washington, DC; and Ayah Ali-Ahmad of Berkeley. CA; sister, Kate Carmichael of Brunswick, GA; brother, Michael Carmichael of North Carolina; and nephew, Theodore Hampton of Brunswick,  GA. He was predeceased by his former wife, Patsy, who was the beneficiary of his dedicated, unsparing caregiving for many years while she battled a chronic illness.

A funeral mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church will be held Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 11:30; Father John Zimmerman will officiate.   Pallbearers will be Johnny Miller, Jim Shaw, Mike Davis, Don Terrell, Jim Burns, and James Chestnut.  A reception will be held at the Springdale Hall Club that same day from 3:00 until 5:00 p.m., with the farewell toast occurring at 4:30. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 23 from 6:00-7:30 pm at Kornegay Funeral Home, Camden Chapel. Committal services will be held on Thursday, January 25, 2024, at Quaker Cemetery at 9:30 AM. Memorials can be made to Sistercare or the Mobile Nutrition Center of Kershaw County, both located at 110 E. DeKalb Street, Camden, SC 29020.

Kornegay Funeral Home, Camden Chapel, is assisting the family.

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January 23, 2024

6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Kornegay Funeral Home
1112 Fair Street
Camden, SC 29020

Funeral Mass
January 24, 2024

11:30 AM
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
1709 Lyttleton Street
Camden, SC 29020


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