Tuesday, October 14, 2014

J. Lamar Kemp

J. Lamar Kemp, 86, an outstanding community leader in government and civic affairs in Jackson, died on October 13, after complications from cancer. He has been a resident of Pearl for many years.

Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.. on Thursday, October 16, at Nowell-Massey Funeral Home in Louisville. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 16, in the Nowell-Massey Funeral Home Chapel, 724 North Columbus Avenue, Louisville, MS with Rev. Grady Bailey, Jr., officiating. Interment will be in Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery.

Lamar will be best remembered for his leadership in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1972 to 1976. He was most proud of the bill he introduced to make it possible to renew license tags, by pushing to passage the License Decal Bill, making it no longer necessary to purchase a license plate each year. He was also instrumental in getting a bill out of committee to provide for better management and produce more revenue from 16th Section Land.

As President of the Jackson Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1964, he led the club to win two national awards, in competition with all Jaycee chapters in the United States. He was active in campaigns for the March of Dimes, Cancer Drive, Heart Fund, United Givers Fund, Magnolia Speech School, Muscular Dystrophy, and the Community Hospital. He helped organize the Babe Ruth baseball program.

Lamar was a graduate of Calhoun County High School in Winston County. A veteran of the United States Marine Corp, he was active in civic work with memberships in the Jackson Civitan Club, Society of Professional Engineers, Jackson Touchdown Club, and was on the board of the Jackson Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose, the Masons, and the University of Mississippi Alumni Association.

He was a member of St. Luke's United Methodist Church, where he served on the Administrative Board for many years.
Lamar is survived by his sister, Mary Ruby Molpus of Forest; niece, Margaret Molpus of Asheboro, NC; and several cousins. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jean Dawkins Kemp, his daughter, Mary Virginia Kemp and his parents James Morgan and Ella Virginia Hill Kemp.

He was employed at United Gas in Jackson for many years, and was a real estate broker for his company, Lamar and Associates, Inc.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family by signing the guest register at www.nowellmasseyfuneralhome.com. Memorials may be made to St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 621 Duling Avenue, Jackson, MS 39216.