Gordon L. Kemp, 97, of Peterborough, passed away peacefully Thursday evening, August 18, 2022, at home after a brief illness.
He was born in Peterborough on December 11, 1924 and lived there all his life with the exception of a tour of duty with the US Navy in the Pacific Theater during WWII as a radar repairman.
Gordon learned to dance while in the Navy. Dances and Balls were commonplace in the 60’s and 70’s and it was great recreation. He particularly enjoyed the polka. An active family man and an ardent camper with many happy hours spent in both the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Green Mountains of Vermont.
His work life included time with New England Tel & Tel as a toll test repairman for both Peterborough and Keene. For many years he was ‘99’ the voice of radio and fire alarm repair for SWNH Fire Mutual Aid. A multitalented individual, he was head fleet mechanic for DD Bean & Sons Co. in Jaffrey while the company was at its zenith and finished out a long working career as a parts man at State Line Truck Service in Fitzwilliam. With the help of friends, family, and neighbors, he completely built his own house on Union Street from the foundation up.
Since 1976, Gordon was very active in Peterborough’s town politics, serving multiple terms as Selectman and on both the Recreation and Budget Committees. He was knowledgeable in many subjects and was called upon often to answer questions about Peterborough history. He was a gifted speaker and was often referred to as ‘Peterborough’s unofficial historian’. He was a humble man but was recognized for his efforts when he was named ‘Volunteer of the Year’ by the Town of Peterborough in 1999, and ‘Municipal Volunteer of the Year’ by the State of NH in 2004, and was named the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce ‘Citizen of the Year’ in 2010.
Gordon was predeceased by his mother, Vada M. Kemp, his wife of 61 years, Helen (Sawtelle) Kemp, 2 daughters, Susan J. Schoch and Nancy E. Bryant, and 2 grandsons, Craig Lane, and Daniel Schoch.
He is survived by his 2 sons, Lawrence D. Kemp of Dublin, and David E. Kemp of Jaffrey, and their spouses, 7 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.
Gordon is also survived by his friend, Marie Isham. For the past 14 years, they were close companions, and as of late, she was his best caregiver.
Friends and family are invited to Calling Hours on Thursday, August 25, 2022 from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, at the Cournoyer Funeral Home, 33 River Street, Jaffrey, NH 03452. A memorial service will be conducted immediately afterwards in the funeral home chapel, beginning at 12:00 noon and will be officiated by Rev. Mary Lu Esposito of Rindge.
Private committal services will be held at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, and in sincere appreciation for the help provided by Hospice, please consider making memorial contributions to Home Healthcare, Hospice and Community Services, 312 Marlboro Street, Keene, NH 03431.