Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 17, 2017

FHS grad Denny Kemp remembered

By Robert Hendricks | Jun 06, 2013

To the editor:

My mother, Thelma Ridlinger, called me this morning (March 30) to inform me that Denny Kemp had passed away.

Denny graduated from Fairfield High School, Class of 1959. Most of us knew Denny from the FHS band and the 34th Division National Guard Band. His mother, Louise, and father, Warren, a dentist, also lived in Fairfield.

Denny was a talented trumpet player and played high school football. Some also knew him as a fantastic pin striper. He made pin striping look so easy and was very artistic. He striped under the name “Doc.”

I connected with Denny a few years back after he had moved to Mt. Pleasant from north Texas. For the last few years he had been a greeter at Walmart, a job he enjoyed very much.

I had asked him to drop in and visit with my mother if he had the time. He did and they became fast friends. He would stop by her house and have coffee and cookies with her. I appreciated him checking on her for me since I’m so far away. After his visits, he would come away with a couple quarts of tomato juice, some fresh tomatoes or maybe a sack of home-made cookies.

From what I’ve been told, Denny died from cancer. But he had suffered from severe arthritis in his hands which kept him from playing his beloved trumpet and trying to pin stripe again. I’m sure if there is a jazz band in heaven, he’s playing in it.

R.I.P. my friend.


— Robert Hendricks, Tulsa, Okla.

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