Cover photo for James Kemp's Obituary
James Kemp Profile Photo
1950 James 2020

James Kemp

September 24, 1950 — December 29, 2020

James (Jim) Kemp of McKinney, Texas passed away at his home on Dec 29, 2020 at the age of 70. He was born on Sept 24, 1950, in Bentonville, AR. He was number 5 of 6 children born to Richard (Dick) and Muriel Kemp. At age 7, his family moved to CA. They lived in various towns but Jim had fond memories of being able to walk to Knotts Berry Farm before they charged admission. He also really enjoyed Lake Tahoe where he graduated from South Tahoe High School.

Jim served in the Air Force from March 1971-April 1988. He particularly enjoyed his tour as a Military Policeman at Hahn Air Base in Germany. After Officers Training School he became a Navigator and later Radar Navigator on B52s.

He met the love of his life, Carol Thomas on December 29, 1974 in Tulare, California and after a whirlwind courtship they married on May 17, 1975 in Tulare. Most of their "dates" were over the phone or via letters as he was attending Mississippi State University. They were married for 45 years.

After the Air Force, Jim went back to school to become a computer programmer and later was a technical trainer at ARGO Data. Jim also really enjoyed teaching and taught in the evenings as an Adjunct Professor at TCJC and later Collin College.

Like his father, Jim became a Ham Radio Operator - call sign KG5FVM. He also trained and volunteered at the Sheriff's Dept. in McKinney, and was an active Deacon at Waddill Street Baptist Church in McKinney. He enjoyed gardening and was an avid reader.

Jim loved his family and enjoyed being a grandpa. He was quiet man with a quirky sense of humor and a sparkle in his eyes.

He is preceded in death by his parents, sister Ruth Ann Schwarz, and brothers-in-law, Philip Ahrens and Darrel Boling.

He is survived by his wife Carol and their 3 children: Katie (and Bobby) Booth, Josh Kemp, and Christina (and Matt) Willens; grandchildren: Ellie, Max and Mikey Booth and Brayden Eastman-Willens, siblings: Joann Ahrens, Helen (and Mel) Boyd, Richard Kemp Jr., and Debbie Boling, brother-in-law Brad Schwarz, and multiple nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held in the chapel at Cottonwood Creek Church in Allen, TX on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 11am. You may view the service online https://www.youtube.com/c/WaddillStreet or https://waddillstreet.org/livestream
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Waddill Street Baptist Church, 1401 N. Waddill St. McKinney, TX 75069.
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