A highly decorated U. S. Army Vietnam Veteran who fought on the front lines for nine months has died from complications of Agent Orange.
Wayne Kemp of Lebanon and who was reared in Carthage, was pronounced deceased at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday evening June 7, 2020 at the age of 76 at the Alive Residence Hospice in Murfreesboro where he was admitted May 31st.
Funeral services were conducted on Saturday afternoon June 10th at 1 p.m. from the Carthage Chapel of Sanderson Funeral Home. His close friend, fellow Vietnam Veteran and high school classmate, Jimmy Trainham, delivered the eulogy. His former Alabama pastor, Bro. Jim Hill officiated assisted by Eld. Anthony Dixon. Burial followed in the Garden of Gethsemane at the Smith County Memorial Gardens.
American Legion Post #57 of Carthage executed a chapel tribute and military honors.
One of five sons of the Defeated Creek Community native, the late Arthur Draper “Pud” Kemp who died December 13, 1957 at the age of 40 and Pleasant Shade Community native, the late Martha Elizabeth Whitley Kemp who died February 5, 2018 at the age of 94 and was born Wayne Douglas Kemp at the former McFarland Hospital in Lebanon on March 15, 1947.
At the Niles Ferry Baptist Church in Greenback, Tennessee on August 31, 1968, he was united in marriage to Greenback native, the former Etta Merle McCall.
Wayne was a member of the 1965 graduating class at Smith County High School where he majored in science and played football and was a member of the Latin Club his junior year. It was stated of him in the annual that “The present is great”.
He was a member of the Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Ozark, Alabama where his family lived before relocating to Lebanon in 2012.
After being inducted in Nashville in 1966 he served in Vietnam for six years and was honorably discharged on September 30, 1991 at Fort Rucker, Alabama with the rank of Master Sergeant with total military service of over twenty five years.
For his unselfish and meritorious he was awarded the following medals, Army Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, Overseas Service Ribbon with second Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal with third Oak Leaf Cluster, eight Army Good Conduct Medals, Vietnam Service Medal with five service stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with one Palm Leaf, an Expert M-16 Rifle Badge, Combat Infantry Badge, and Senior Aircraft Crewman Badge.
Trained as a Helicopter repairman after his Vietnam deployment and while in service, after his retirement he was a supervisor of helicopter mechanics at Fort Rucker, Alabama until moving to his wife’s native Greenback, Tennessee.
Surviving in addition to his wife Merle of almost fifty five years are their two sons, Jeremy Kemp and wife Heather and their son Adam of Marietta, Georgia, Joseph Kemp of Florida and his daughter Madison of Birmingham, Alabama and son Ridley Wayne Kemp of Lebanon,; four brothers, Norris Kemp of Carthage, Phil Kemp and wife Pam Page Kemp of South Carthage, Timmy Kemp and wife Lorie of Red Boiling Springs, Fran Kemp of the Monoville Community.
The Kemp family requests memorials to the American Legion Post 57 of Carthage.
SANDERSON of CARTHAGE