William Burton Kemp Sr., age 85, died suddenly on December 30, 2013. Born weighing less than two pounds, fitting in a shoe box, in his home on Singleton Avenue on December 7, 1928, he was the son of the late Crawley Monroe Kemp and Corinne Moats Kemp.
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A 1947 graduate of Sylvania High School, he loved to reminisce with contemporaries about football life under legendary Coach Jack Lyons. Always a devout fan of all Gamecock athletics, he forever regretted that his 1946 Gamecocks were voted out of a chance to play in the First District Championship. In later years he loved attending not only SCHS football games but softball and baseball games as well.
Following high school he enrolled in Middle Georgia College where he stayed a year and a half before enlisting in the U. S. Army going through basic training at Fort Jackson, SC where he was also stationed as a member of the Military Police. After receiving his honorary discharge from the Army as a Second Lieutenant he returned to Middle Georgia, receiving an associate's degree in business, before
completing a business degree with a minor in military science at North Georgia College. Burton then became a trooper with the Georgia State Patrol for five years before coming home to manage Kemp's Grocery after the death of his father.
During his better than 60 years in the grocery business, a tenure that began working with his father, at some point he took part in every facet of running a store continuing work at Moats' Grocery up until his final minutes. He also devoted nearly 40 years of service to the City of Sylvania, not only as a volunteer fireman, but also as a member of the City Council including multiple terms as Mayor Pro Temp.
Surviving are his wife, the former Emma Frances Smelley of Lula GA, with whom he celebrated 60 years of marriage on August 23, 2013, his daughter Mary Jo Kemp of Gibson GA, a son and daughter-in-law William Burton Kemp Jr. (Monica) of Sylvania, granddaughters Christie Kemp and Stephanie Kemp, a brother Austin James Kemp of Warner Robins, several cousins including James Moats of Sylvania.
He was preceded in death by his brother Sheffield Sadler "Pete" Kemp, and sisters Mary Ann Kemp and Martha Adeline Kemp Hargreaves.
Active pall bearers are William Moats, Harold Moats, Gene Sheffield, Fred Jenkins, W. C. Anderson, Lovett Bennett Jr., Calvin Scott, Donnie Sheppard, and Nooney Lariscy. Honorary pall bearers will be current and former members of the Sylvania City Council and the Sylvania High School Class of 1947.
Visitation will be at Joiner Anderson Funeral Home on Wednesday, January 1 from 5-7 p.m.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, January 2, at the First United Methodist Church in Sylvania conducted by Rev. Mike Benson and Carlton Weaver.
Memorials should be sent to the General Fund of the First United Methodist Church of Sylvania, P.O. Box 256, Sylvania, GA 30467.
Friends may sign the online register book at www.joineranderson.com.
Joiner Anderson Funeral Home Screven Chapel is in charge of all arrangements.
Statesboro Herald, January 2, 2014
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Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home - Screven Chapel
202 Ennis Street
Sylvania, GA 30467
Published in Statesboro Herald from Jan. 3 to Jan. 11, 2014