Charlie Mae (Jackson) Kemp was born January 30, 1926 in Augusta Arkansas. She was the eldest child of Henry (Buck) Jackson and Ethel (Trice) Jackson. At the time of her passing, Charlie, at age 94, was the oldest living member of the Jackson family.
Charlie relocated from Arkansas to the Kansas City area in the early 1940’s for the chance at a better life. She married John Kemp, Jr. on August 4, 1945. Her husband proceeded her in death in 1989.
Charlie was a visionary. She was not afraid of doing the unexpected. In 1953 she and her family, with faith in God and a strong determination, purchased a home in an area that was restricted by racial and economic covenants and redlining. This house became the Kemp family home for many years where they were able to form lifelong relationships with members of the neighborhood that have lasted to current time.
Charlie held several occupations during her life. During the 1960’s she worked as an elevator operator at the Jackson County Courthouse where she developed a passion for civic awareness and became involved in Freedom, Inc. During the 1970’s and 1980’s she was employed by the Kansas City Missouri School District. In 1991 Charlie retired from Research Medical Center with over 20 years of service.
Charlie was a strong woman of faith and shared a close and deep relationship with God. Until her health failed, she was an active member of Hosanna Missionary Baptist Church where she served as a member of the Sunday School, Pastor’s Aide and The Mother Board.
Charlie always liked to have fun and especially loved spending time with family. After she retired, Charlie, was able to enjoy her love of traveling. She enjoyed going on cruises, visiting casinos and caring for her beloved great grandchildren who gave her the name “Gran-Gran”.
Charlie had a genuine caring heart and a smile and laughter that would light up the room. “Aunt Mae” as she was affectionately known by family, had a giving spirit that touched the lives of anyone that she met. She was able to demonstrate her love for others by raising her daughters; Irma (Harmon) Brown and Nekita Kemp Arrington. She instilled in these girls her love for knowledge and learning and a desire to be their best.
Charlie was proceeded in death by her husband, both parents, two loving sisters, Geraldine (James) Brown and Dorothy Jackson Miller (June); and her baby brother, Isaac (Estella) Jackson (Det Lamb). She leaves a legacy of love in the hearts of her two daughters, Irma (Harmon) Brown and Nekita Kemp Arrington (Kita); two grandchildren, Johnna Kemp, Darek Lee; three great grandchildren, John Michael Mason Kemp, Heiress Grigsby and Derionna Mason Kemp (Bubba); as well as a host of nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends who will mourn her passing and cherish her life.
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