Department of Orthopaedics

Dr. Lamar Lafayette Fleming passed away peacefully early Sunday morning August 14, 2022 with his beloved wife of 53 years, Sally Hurt Fleming, at his bedside. Dr. Fleming was born January 21, 1939 in Augusta, Georgia where he spent his boyhood. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1961, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, received the distinguished alumni award in 2011 and remained devoted to his Bulldogs his entire life. After college he attended the Medical College of Georgia where he was selected to the AOA honor society. He was a veteran of the US Navy, serving as a Naval Flight Surgeon, obtaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Following an internship in Internal Medicine at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Fleming completed his Orthopedic Surgery residency at Duke University. He was a fellow at Shriners Hospital for Children and Duke. He was recruited to join the Emory University School of Medicine faculty where he launched a thirty-two-year distinguished career as an orthopedic surgeon and educator. He was an excellent surgeon most recognized for his clinical expertise in hand and foot surgery. During his 15-year tenure as Department Chair (1987-2002) he recruited talented faculty and guided the Emory Orthopedic Department through significant growth in size and national prominence. He received the Emory Distinguished Medical Achievement Award in 2012. Throughout his career he held multiple leadership positions in local (President of Atlanta Orthopaedic Society), state (President of Georgia Orthopaedic Society), regional (President of Eastern Orthopaedic Association and Southern Orthopaedic Association), and national (President of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society) organizations. 

Dr. Fleming was devoted to his family, his faith, and his patients. Lamar and his wife Sally Hurt Fleming have two lovely daughters, Anne Ridley Fleming and Sarah Sibley Fleming, who are always at the center of their lives. Dr. Fleming was a role model for work-life balance long before it was a popular topic. He never met a stranger and cherished his colleagues and residents. He believed that everyone within the four walls of the hospital played an important role in the overall care of the patient, from the maintenance staff to the surgeons, and he loved them all. 

Perhaps his greatest legacy was as a mentor to countless trainees during his long professional career as a surgeon and a teacher. Dr. Fleming was a larger-than-life personality and although he was a tough disciplinarian when called for, he was also caring, concerned and encouraging. His residents knew him as a father figure to whom they could always turn for guidance not only for tough orthopedic problems but also for hurdles in their personal lives. “Dr. Fleming stories” are always told whenever there is a gathering of his former residents and faculty. He was respected and loved by all, will be deeply missed, but his legacy and impact will live on through those whose lives he touched. 

Dr. Fleming’s remains will be laid to rest by his family in Augusta, GA. A religious service celebrating his life will be held on Friday, September 16, 2022, 2:00 p.m., at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Greenville, SC, with a reception to follow. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Greenville Area Parkinson Society, P.O. Box 6505 Greenville, SC 29609 or St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 304 E. Camperdown Way, Greenville, SC 29601.