John Lake


11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Saturday, May 20, 2023
Grace Baptist Church
550 McMurry Blvd. E.
Hartsville, Tennessee, United States

Obituary of John Kenneth Lake

Mr. John Kenneth Lake, age 77 of Hartsville, TN passed away Tuesday morning, April 19, 2023 at Alive Hospice, Nashville, TN. John was known best, by his family and friends, as a family man.

Preceded in death by his Parents, William & Betty Jane Peterman Lake.  Survived by:  Wife, Mrs. Sherry Lake-Hartsville, TN;  2 Sons, Jared (Maggie) Lake-Hartsville, TN and Christian (Jennifer) Lake-Veseli, MN;  10 Grandchildren, Johnathan, Zachariah, Liberty, Phineas, Josiah, Eli, Katelyn, Nathaniel, Ezra and Samuel;  Brother, Jimmy K. Lake-Palmetto, FL and Aunt, Wanda Reynolds-Spring Lake, MI.


John was a devoted husband to his wife, Sherry, for almost 53 years. All of his strength and time went to loving her as “Christ loved the church” and giving himself up for her. His concern was always asked in the form of a question, “What does mother want?” John was also a devoted father who would work extra shifts, or take on an extra job, so that he could be at every little league game, or pay for education at a Christian school for his children. 


However, things you may not have known about him, was that John enjoyed eating popcorn, drinking A&W Root beer, watching 50's sci-fi movies, anything John Wayne, and could talk for hours telling you “cop stories” from back in the day when he was an officer. Even though he was tough, he was a big teddy bear at heart. He would weep for hours at Hallmark movies, and would donate all of his money to children in other countries who were less fortunate, as tears washed down his face looking at their pictures.


Others knew John as a dedicated Law Enforcement officer. John began serving the community he lived, in Manatee County Florida, in 1968 and continued until his retirement in 1990. The multiple lives that were touched throughout his career are told by the numerous newspaper clippings that were kept, telling of his selfless sacrifice and devotion. The many lifelong friends that his children grew up hearing about, were discovered after his death, as people he had helped on specific cases as a Law Enforcement Officer.


Most notable, were those that will never be told by newspapers or awards. Such stories as year after year, the joy he found at Christmas time, where he would purchase gifts and keep them in his patrol car, and then distribute them to kids in need.  He also volunteered his evenings for days during Christmas setting up a sleigh in front of his brother's house, in order to play Santa for kids in the neighborhoods.


Others knew John, after his retirement when he had moved to West Virginia. John labored for almost 20 years as a deacon and teacher at his local church, Hillcrest Baptist Church. His love was found in teaching the youth group, where he impacting so many lives of teens who did not have a father, and would become a father to them. After his children were grown, he moved on to the adult Sunday School class where he continued to search the scriptures and study in order to show himself approved for Christ.


When his health had failed him, he continued to be known, even in the small town of Hartsville, TN, where he lived the last few years of his life. He was known by those he came in contact with, as “the cookie man”. John would buy packages of cookies and distribute them to the businesses around town, whenever he would have a reason to step inside.


However, John was most known for, a life that he lived, to see Christ magnified, and Christ made known to those around . He would leave no encounter with a stranger, without telling the person he was speaking with about his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If you did not have time to talk to him, he would leave you with a smile and a bible tract, so that Christ would be preached to all he came in contact with. A 30 minute shopping trip to Walmart would turn into a 3 hour excursion. This was John Lake.  A man of steel, who would weep at every Hallmark film, and unashamedly, tell you of the hope he had in Christ.  


“Celebration of Life Service” will be held on Saturday, May 20th, between 11am-2pm, at the Fellowship Hall of Grace Baptist Church, located at 550 E McMurry Blvd, Hartsville, TN, 37074 


In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Lenore Thorne Missions to Mongolia,  Or checks may be sent to Grace Baptist Church at the above address for Lenore Thorne Trip. 


Anthony Funeral Home, 337 McMurry Blvd. E, Hartsville, TN 37074, 615-374-2280,



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