David “Dave” Charles Kem
David Charles Kem M.D., 83, child of God, beloved brother, husband, father, grandfather, and friend went home to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on November 22, 2020.
David Kem and his three brothers were raised in Richmond, Indiana, by their parents Charles and Janice Kem, a dentist and schoolteacher. He was educated in a rural school where he played sports and was challenged to excel by a perceptive teacher. He graduated from the city high school with honors. He accepted the Lord as his Savior at a young age and attended Earlham College where he majored in pre-med and chemistry, played varsity tennis, and graduated with honors. He met Janet Trueblood in college and they were married just two weeks before he entered the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. His postdoctoral training took place at the University of Michigan.
David served during the Viet Nam War and was assigned to Tripler Army Hospital in Hawaii as Chief of the Endocrine Service. After finishing his Army career he was recruited to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He was subsequently recruited to the University of Oklahoma Department of Medicine to develop the then defunct Endocrinology Section. He recruited gifted teachers, reestablished his research and started a fellowship program that produced 28 endocrinologists by the time he stepped down as section chief in 2001. He continued full time patient care, teaching and research. Dr. Kem also had interests in teaching ethical and moral issues on campus. He served as a faculty advisor for the Christian Medical and Dental Society and also co-founded the annual A. Kurt Weiss bioethics lectureship, serving as trustee of the event for over 33 years. He was always open to visits from students, residents and former fellows for advice and counsel.
David and Janet celebrated 61 years of marriage in August. He was a devoted family man and was proud of his five children, twenty-one grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. His interests included tennis, woodworking, camping, photography, travel and history which he enjoyed sharing with family. He served as a discussion leader for Bible Study Fellowship. Dave had a wonderful sense of humor, enjoyed classical music, and was a fan of his Sooners.
Dave was preceded in death by his parents Dr. Charles and Janice Kem and his brother retired General Sam Kem. He is survived by his brothers, Dr. Jan Kem and Dr. Bill Kem (Carol); his wife, Janet Kem; his children, Laura Liles (Gary), Carla Collier (Clyde), Dr. David E. Kem (Gwendy), Sam Kem (Heather), Marie Holden (Darril); his grandchildren, Andrew Collier (Emily), Daniel Collier (Paige), Dr. Campbell Liles (Emily), Darril Holden (Bradi), Sam Collier (Cheyenne), Hannah Liles, Michael Holden, Matthew Collier (Ruth), Jonathan Liles (Abbey), Karsten Kem (Kate), Joe Collier (Stephanie), Clare Holden, Zach Kem, Anne Marie Kem, Emily Liles, Grace Collier, Dasha Kem, Faith Liles, Jenna Holden, Justin Kem, David Collier; his great grandchildren, Luke Collier, Lilly Collier, Collin Holden; and many loved nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either Faith Bible Church Missions (https://faithbible.ccbchurch.com/goto/giving) or the A. Kurt Weiss Lectureship Fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation (www.occf.org).
A celebration of Dave’s life will be held on Sunday, November 29, at 1:30 in the Chapel at Faith Bible Church (600 N. Coltrane Rd. Edmond, OK 73034). Social distancing will be observed and masks will be required. To view the livestream Click here.