Neil Emerson Kemp
Born in Eureka on July 5, 1937, Neil Emerson Kemp Jr., son of Neil Emerson Kemp Sr. and Sarah Denica Gillaspie Kemp passed away June 2, 2013 at his home in Salmon Creek near Miranda. By his side were his beloved wife, Myrna Jean Hollis Kemp, his daughter Kym Kemp, his son Neil Eugene Kemp, and his granddaughter of the heart, Brandy Ogletree.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, William Kemp. He is survived by three sisters Thelma Pavlich, Ellen Wilson, and Vada Johnson, two brothers Jim Kemp and John Kemp and three grandsons Clay, Quinn, and Malachi Church. The Farkle and Zigler families as well as Zachary Ogletree will also miss him.
A memorial will be held at Neil and Myrna's home on July 4, 2013 from 2:00 -10:00 P.M. with a Potluck and Fireworks. All are welcome.
Here's to the working men with their strong shoulders and wild hearts. Here's to the men with callused hands who quiet their rough side enough to raise families and build roads, but who tell true stories with wicked grins about their younger selves...and last weekend.
Here's to the ab divers, the deer hunters, the horseshoe pitching crowd. Here's to those who brush their sawdust covered shoulders off at the end of long, hot working days, smooch their wives, crack open a cold one, load up the inner tubes, and take all the neighborhood kids to the river swimming.
Here's to my dad, Neil Kemp, a hard worker and a wicked grinner with a holler of joy that would make women stand a little taller, kids come a runnin', and men whoop back. He could make his old pickup haul a trailer down a muddy road that a mule would refuse to walk, work 12 hours in the rain, and then twirl my mom at the Riverwood ‘til two in the morning.
Here's to the men who take adversity and claw their way to a place they can keep for their own, long after others would have given up. Here's to my dad who when the nature cursed him with MS, still drug himself up ladders to patch his roof, balanced himself on his walker to chainsaw firewood, and strapped himself with bungee cords to a riding lawnmower to cut the grass.
Here's to the man who on his last days, as he lay in bed too weak to open his eyes, answered the anxious question—"Dad, is there anything I can do to help?" with a slight lift of his chin towards the radio that was droning a baseball game and whispered, "No, there's nothing you can do, the Giants are losing...."
This is for Neil Kemp, but it is for all those men who tame their demons enough to raise families and build communities, but whose wicked grins reminds the rest of us that a bit of bad boy is a seasoning that makes this dark world a little easier to swallow.