Michael Alan Kemp, age 69, of Florence, AL, left his physical body at North Alabama Medical Center and was welcomed into the arms of his Savior on Sunday, April 23, 2023, after a brief struggle with cancer.
Visitation will be Sunday, April 30 at Greenview Memorial Funeral Home, Florence, AL, from 1:00-3:00 pm with a Celebration of Life service at Greenview Chapel at 3:00. Burial will follow at Greenview Cemetery.
Mike was preceded in death by his father, Judge James Edmund Kemp and his mother Nancy Helms Kemp. He is survived by his wife and soulmate, Virginia (Jenny) Cochran Kemp who poured her life into assisting him the past few months as his illness progressed. Other survivors include step-son William Hunter Watson (Juliana), step-daughters Morgan Elizabeth Watson (Brad), Lauren Taylor Watson, mother-in-law Johnnie Lou Cochran, sister-in-law Becky Cochran Lindsey (Vince), brother-in-law Bill Cochran (Lisa), special friends David and Pat Cumbie, granddaughter Charlie Taylor Jackson, great niece Mary Patton Rains, nephew Andrew Kemp (Stephenie), great nephews Isaac Kemp and Carter Kemp, and brothers Doug Kemp and Jim Kemp.
Mike met Jenny later in life and finally found the one he had been searching for. He often remarked that he wished they had met much sooner. They completed each other, each helping the other through difficult situations, sharing a deep faith in Christ. They were seldom apart, doing virtually everything together, often with silliness and laughter.
Mike had a deep love of scripture, especially the Old Testament, which intensified as he grew older. His Bible is well worn. During Covid, he started following David Carpenter’s on-line Sunday School Class at Woodmont Baptist Church and it became a favorite Sunday morning event. In recent years, some of his most special times were spent at home, studying the Bible and praying with Jenny, recognizing that he was “flawed but forgiven.” He had a special love for music, especially the guitar. It gave him great joy to play for and with friends at any type of venue, or just at home, quietly with Jenny listening and critiquing.
He was enthralled with Andy Griffith; there is no counting the hours he spent watching “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Matlock.” That may be where he honed his subtle sense of humor and easy smile.
He had two other passions: the Second Amendment and Harley Davidson motorcycles. He loved to go to the shooting range, was a faithful member of the NRA and was especially proud to teach Jenny to shoot. His Harley was a prized possession, always kept spotless clean. He loved to ride the Natchez Trace with Jenny, visiting special places like Buzzard Roost, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.
He loved the beach and spending time there with family and friends.
As a career, Mike was a Registered Respiratory Therapist for 34 years, working 30 years at ECM and then PRN at many of the hospitals in the North Alabama region. He was a member of NBRC, AARC, and ASBRT. He loved his profession, his patients and his co-workers and he developed deep bonds with them all. Retirement came earlier than he wished due to an eye disorder, and he often lamented not being able to continue with the profession as he loved helping others.
Jenny would like to thank Dr. Lyman Mitchell, Dr. Edsel Holden, Dr. Felix Morris, Dr. Jason Wilkes, the Hematology and Oncology staff at UAB Hospital and especially the nurses and staff at NAMC who provided such compassionate care to Mike and her at the final hours.
Pallbearers will be Kevin Taylor, David Cumbie, David Carpenter, Brad Phillips, Bryan Hamilton, Andrew Kemp, David Bowling and Bobby Linville. Honorary Pallbearers will be Bill Cochran, Trey Simmons, Hunter Watson, Coy Fulmer, Anthony Berringer, Steve Blazier and Chris Fullmer.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michael Alan Kemp, please visit our floral store.