James Robert Kemp, passed this life on Sunday, January 4th, 2015 at Harton Regional Medical Center in Tullahoma at the age of 83.
Mr. Kemp was born in Nashville, Tennessee to the late Jasper Stanton Kemp Sr. and Ellen Blackburn Kemp.
He grew up in Smith County and graduated from Gordonsville High School. Mr. Kemp served in the United States Air Force during the Korean Conflict, and went on to earn his Bachelors and then Masters Degree in Science and Education from Middle Tennessee State University. His first job was teaching Biology at Tullahoma High School and he later became the Principal of West Junior High School in Tullahoma. He began a 25 year career at MTSU in 1970, where he taught Biology and Anatomy and Physiology for nursing students. While at MTSU, Mr. Kemp taught 8,800 students. He also taught nursing students part-time at Motlow State Community College for many years. He took great pride in the accomplishments of his students whom he encountered all over the world.
Apart from being a teacher, Mr. Kemp was a life-long farmer who loved the land and animals entrusted to him. He liked nothing better than spending the afternoon in the woods on horseback with his friends and family. Mr. Kemp was also a long time supporter and board member of Horse Play, Inc., a non-profit corporation that provides therapeutic and recreational horseback riding opportunities for special needs children.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Kemp is preceded in death by two children, Lt. Col. Gerald Ray Kemp, and Cathy Kemp Brockette; one step-son, John Kevin Driver; one sister, Elizabeth Kemp Wilson, and two brothers, Cecil Leamor Kemp, and William Henry Kemp.
He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Linda Cook Kemp; five children, David (Dorene) Kemp of Bandera, Texas, Dr. Olan (Brenda) Kemp of Tullahoma, Ellen (Joe) Williams of Mt. Juliet, Christie (Bobby) Jennings of Murfreesboro, and Kara Jill Kemp of Murfreesboro; two step-daughters, Lori McCarrall and Leah Hulan; three brothers, Bernice (Peggy) Kemp of New Jersey, Roy (Betty) Kemp of Madison, and Jasper Stanton Kemp Jr. of Hendersonville; one sister, Betty (Bill) Singleton; sister-in-law, Annibel Kemp of Oregon; brother-in-law, Bro. Ray Wilson of Hendersonville; eight grandchildren, Jennifer Kemp, Lukas (Stacy) Kemp, Jay (Marissa) Brockette, Jeremy Kemp, Dorianne Kemp, Cari Jennings, Laura Jennings, and Cameron Jennings; three great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, January 8th, 2015 at 1:00 pm in the Kilgore Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Ray Wilson officiating.
Burial will follow at Powell Cemetery in the Raus Community in Bedford County.
For those who wish, donations may be made to Horse Play, Inc. at P.O. Box 393, Tullahoma, Tennessee 37388 or to the MTSU Foundation, Office of Development, MTSU P.O. Box 109, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37132.
Kilgore Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.