James Richard Kemp, 84, of Tryon passed away on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 at Centennial Park Retirement Village.
Richard was born July 31, 1934 north of Tryon to Ray and Irene (Neal) Kemp at the home of his grandparents, Tom and Pearl Neal. He was born on his mother’s 21st birthday, in the same house and the same bed as she was.
Richard was baptized as a young boy in the Dismal River. He attended Gospel Ridge District #9, a little country grade school, and graduated high school with the class of 1952 from McPherson County High School.
Richard grew up on the family ranch ten miles north of Tryon. He helped build the McPherson County High School and Highway 97 north of Tryon.
He was proud to serve his country in the U.S. Navy from March 1956-March 1958, being stationed in Long Beach, Calif. He served aboard the USS Herbert J. Thomas destroyer ship and these two years, and 21 months were spent at sea. His ship was known as the “eyes of the sea” as it was equipped with extensive radar and was sent 50 miles ahead of the rest of the fleet.
After his discharge, he returned home and married Carolyn Black on July 3, 1960 at the Tryon Methodist Church. To their union, Gaylene Kay and Lamar James were born.
Richard was known for drilling some of the best water wells in the Sandhills. He enjoyed his neighbors and friends and was always up for a good game of pitch.
He was known to be quite a “card shark” and his family will always cherish great memories of playing cards with him.
He had a special love for his cattle, horses, kids, grandkids, and then the great-grandkids. He will always be remembered for his great story telling and memorable laugh.
Richard is survived by Carolyn, his wife of 58 years; daughter Gaylene (John) McCall of North Platte; grandchildren, Jessica (BJ) Wilson, Jennifer (Josh) Staab, Ben (Alexa) McCall, James Kemp, and Christopher Kemp, all of North Platte; great grandchildren, Hali, Levi, Carsen, Josie, Oakley, Axel, Hadlee, and Remyton; brother, Jerry Kemp of Tryon; and other family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Irene Kemp; son, Lamar; infant granddaughter, Rebecca Leanne Kemp; and brother, Karl Kemp.
Funeral services will be on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 1:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church with Rev. Dr. Douglas Delp officiating. Burial will follow at Miller Cemetery near Tryon.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, Jan. 9 from noon-8 p.m. with family receiving friends from 6-8 p.m. at Adams & Swanson Funeral Home, which is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials are suggested to the McPherson County Fire and Rescue. Online condolences may be shared at adamsswanson.com.