Joseph D. Kemp, age 88, of Summerland Key, Florida, passed away on December 6, 2016. He is survived by his wife, Judy; three daughters: Dr. Leslie Kemp Poole, Linda Kemp Norris and Joanna Kemp; 4 grandchildren; and a niece and nephew.
Joe Kemp has “literally” walked in the “Halls of Power” before moving to Summerland Key. He was the lobbyist for Tampa Electric Company in both Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. During his years at Tampa Electric, he also was Director of Marketing and Consumer Affairs for Tampa Electric. He worked there for 38 years.
As a real estate broker, he also owned and operated a commercial and residential real estate corporation.
After retiring and while vacationing at his condo in Grand Cayman, Joe received a cable saying he had been unanimously appointed to fill the spot on the Tampa City Council (1986-1987). During that time as a City Councilman, he served on the Metropolitan Planning Organization which planned and implemented the large highway and alternate bridge corridor project, Pinellas County “Bayside Bridge” which positively affected the growth of Tampa.
It can be truthfully said that Joe has experienced politics from both sides.
Throughout his life, Joe served, usually as President or Chairman of the Board in numerous Civic and Community organizations such as Sertoma, Jaycees, Tampa Salvation Army Advisory Board, MacDonald Training Center, MTC (empowering people with disabilities), Curtis Hixon Convention Center, Lowery Park Zoo, ect.
Joe Kemp was also named Tampa’s “Outstanding Young Man” (1964).
Many of his Tampa peers have acknowledged that Joe Kemp was one of the pillars of the community who helped mold Tampa’s history as it grew from a small town to the huge city which it has become.
Recently Joe was selected, as a World War II Veteran, for “One Last Mission” South Florida Honor Flights to fly to Washington, D.C.
Joe Kemp served in the Merchant Marines (Coast Guard) and the Marine Corps. During his May 31, 2014 trip to Washington, D.C., he met with Bob and Elizabeth Dole at the WWII Memorial.
Joe Kemp’s ancestral roots extend from Tampa where he was born and most probably are traced back to his great grandfather Kemp who lived in Key West. Joe Kemp and his wife, Judy, have lived on Summerland Key since 1988.
A Commital Service will be held on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. at Florida National Cemetery, 6502 SW 102nd Avenue, Bushnell, FL 33513.