It is with great regret that I inform you of the passing of Dr. Lem H. Rainwater. He was 97 years of age and left this world on Saturday, January 24th. We all know that he is in a better place.
It is unpleasant to share this news, but I feel compelled to share it as I know that you cared about Dr. Rainwater too.
Dr. Rainwater was a mentor for me and became like a surrogate father to me. He taught me a great deal, and I am forever grateful that he was involved in my life.
Dr. Rainwater was born and raised in lower Alabama. On the suggestion of a friend, Dr. Rainwater applied to dental school in Tennessee. He excelled and successfully completed his training and was then drafted into the army in 1941. He served in WWII at Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. He returned home in 1945, married Jean, started a family and they began attending Mountain Brook Baptist Church. At first, Dr. Rainwater practiced dentistry in the Comer building with Dr. Wood downtown. Everyone thought he was crazy when he built and opened a practice south of town in Crestline Village. That was a bold move in 1950, and it turned out to be a grand idea.
Dr. Rainwater practiced there until 1991 and served many people and many needs. He was a people person with a servant heart. And, he was a virtual walking encyclopedia. He knew so much about so many things that it was incredible. He also was a committed family man and a mission-minded person. I was the last of at least 5 dentists that Dr. Rainwater helped to get started.
He taught me so many things, but the most important thing Dr. Rainwater taught me was “the person is much more important than their mouth!” Several months ago, when I visited him at home, he said more than once, “You know, my patients were my friends.” I am humbled by Dr. Rainwater’s example, and hope to honor him by remembering his teaching and the legacy of caring servanthood. The world has lost a great man!
NOTE: There is no obituary. If you care to make a donation in his memory, make it to
Big Oak Ranch.
P.O. Box 507
Springville, AL 35146
Dr. Kevin J. Alexander