Gene left this earth too soon surrounded by his family, on Thanksgiving, Nov. 22, 2018 after a valiant and stoic struggle with cancer.
At the time of his passing, he lived in Ormond by the Sea, Fla. where he was enjoying his much deserved retirement with his loving wife of more than 34 years.
Gene lived an extraordinary life full of adventure, travel, and the love of his family and many friends. He is the recipient of too many honors and awards to list here for his military and government service throughout his lifetime. He served during the Vietnam war, as a civilian in support of the Persian Gulf war, and later deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and so much more, either in uniform, as a civilian for DoD or NATO. He served with Grace and dignity, just as he served the family and many friends who loved him.
Gene was an avid runner and completed many marathons, including the first annual Rock-n-Roll marathon with son Jared (then 12), Rocket City (Huntsville, Ala.), Marine Corps Marathon (Washington, D.C.) and twice the Loch Ness Marathon in Scotland, once with son Landon. This sport brought him much joy (and pain) and while he would say he was never the fastest in the field, he ran with gusto and never quit.
One of his greatest joys was travel and he lived, worked, and played all over the world. Gene made friends everywhere he went and always managed to keep in touch. He was a quiet man with a strong work ethic, a sense of duty to country, and he was a loyal and beloved family man. He possessed a rare dry, wry sense of humor which became his trademark. He worked hard all his life to provide for his family, but he also loved to have a laugh with friends.
He is survived by his wife, Lisa (Purdy) Kemp; his two sons, Jared Kemp (wife Mallerie) and granddaughter, Madelyn Kemp; and Landon Kemp, (wife Meghan) and granddaughter, Piper Kemp, and grandson, Beckham Kemp. He is also survived by his mother, Geraldine Kemp, as well as three sisters, Constance Kemp, Daryl Kemp Hicks (Husband Jason Hicks), and Kimberly Kemp Mason (Husband Stuart Mason).
He was preceded in death by E. Duane Kemp, his stepfather who raised him and instilled in him his sense of duty and strength, and Deborah Kemp, his sister. He also leaves behind a large extended family of half-siblings in the Freund family, the children of his late father, David Freund, most of whom he only became acquainted with later in his life and who became his friends in addition to rounding out his family. Gene was fiercely proud of his two sons who honor him by being the strong and loving fathers and husbands that they have both become. They are his legacy.
Gene was a man of few words so he would be annoyed at the length of this, but it is impossible to summarize 66 years of a such a phenomenal man’s life in a few short paragraphs.
Upon the anniversary of his death and as Thanksgiving approaches, I hope those of us lucky enough to have known him will pause for a moment to give thanks that he was on this earth and shared his sweet life with us. He will be forever remembered and forever missed.