FRANKLINTON - Roy Thomas Kemp Sr, 76, of Franklinton, passed away on Saturday, March 21, 2015, at Duke Raleigh Hospital.
He was born on Dec. 30, 1938 to the late Toliver Thomas "T.T." and Cora Bobbitt Kemp, and was preceded in death by his first wife, Mattie Belle Kemp.
Roy, known by all as a tireless worker, was an entrepreneur and craftsman. In his enriching life, Roy owned and operated numerous businesses including Kemp Wood Manufacturing and a machine shop.
Roy had to grow up early in life as he lost his beloved mother, Cora, when he was thirteen. His secondary school years were not filled of fun with sports and leisurely activities as many of his classmates enjoyed, rather he worked tirelessly helping his father on the farm when he wasn't in school. Many of Roy's classmates proudly attest how valuable Roy was to father, T.T. Kemp in the critical early days of T's very successful career as an entrepreneur. Roy was later teamed with his younger brother, Abe, in creating the crucial infrastructure/foundation known as T.T. Kemp Enterprises. Together they created the heartbeat of T.T.'s enterprise as they ran a significant farming operation consisting of beef cattle and row crops and land clearing enterprises for their father, serving not only as operators of machinery but also as mechanics when needed as well. Roy and Abe were the architects of their dad's crown business achievement, Katesville Saw and Pallet Mill. Roy was unselfishly loyal to his father.
Roy then worked for many years in the heavy industrial industry as an expert millwright and self-employed business entrepreneur. Roy was a long time member of Perry's Chapel Baptist Church where he served as a faithful Deacon and was a founding member fireman at Mitchiner's Crossroads Fire Department. Roy lived an enriched and full life as a mentor, father and grandfather. Roy's greatest passion in life was being around family and friends, his Scout restorations, metal and wood working projects. Roy could build anything from scratch, design or repair any machine. He had a remarkable ability to master any trade. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends.
Roy, always a big flirt, loved two women in his life. Despite his arduous work on the farm, Roy found time to slip off to Mitchner's Crossroads where a petite lady named Mattie Belle caught his eye. "Roy and Mattie" got married young were known by everyone for 53 years as an ideal couple and bedrocks of their community and church until Mattie's passing. Roy later met the other love of his life when Janice Southerland caught his eye at MacDonald's one morning. Quoting Janice, "Roy asked me out and I found his charm irresistible..so I went." Roy spent his last years with a loving Janice by his side. To this end Roy was a blessed man.
Surviving are Roy's wife, Janice Denton Southerland; children, Carol K. Piper and husband (Tommy), Roy Thomas Kemp, Jr. & Sharon, Anne K. Puett and husband (Michael); grandchildren, Krista Puett, Ashton Webb and husband (Jared), Brooke Satterwhite and husband (Taylor), Dallas Puett, and Hunter Kemp. Additionally, Roy is survived by his siblings, Peggy Land (Bobby), Cora Blair (Grant), Abe Kemp ( Janie), Irene Mitchell, Gail Floyd, and David Kemp.
Roy was a special gift from God to his family and friends. Roy always faithfully fulfilled his role as husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, and friend. His family will forever hold his loving spirit in their heart.
The family would like to extend special thanks to the doctors and nurses at Duke, and Duke Raleigh hospitals. The lord helped to guide their hands to give Roy a peaceful and dignified transition.
Graveside funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 in the Perry's Chapel Baptist Church Cemetery with the Reverends David Averette and David Kerr officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Perry's Chapel Baptist Church Elmore Scholarship Fund, 854 Perry's Chapel Church Road, Franklinton, North Carolina, 27525
Arrangements are being handled by Lancaster Funeral and Cremation Services. Online condolences may be made to www.lancasterfcs.com.