LeRoy A. Kemp

LeRoy A. Kemp

LeRoy Kemp was born July 24‚ 1928‚ in Smithboro‚ New York‚ and graduated from Owego High School in 1945. He married the love of his life‚ Marion Aldrich‚ January 13‚ 1946‚ and over the next 64 years raised three children with her‚ owned and operated Kemp’s Poultry Farm‚ drove tractor trailer and school bus‚ and served the Smithboro community through his church‚ the Grange‚ and the town planning board.

Dedicated to public service‚ LeRoy joined Tioga Fire Department in 1952. He completed classes in firefighting‚ vehicle extrication‚ HAZMAT‚ fire police‚ arson awareness and investigation‚ and fire department management and operations. He was named Fireman of the Year in 1980 and 2010 and Squad Member of the Year in 1993. A retired member of the Tioga County Fire Investigation Team‚ he served as chief of the department from 1985 to 1987‚ and on the Board of Fire Commissioners. At the time of his death‚ LeRoy was serving as chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners‚ captain of the fire police‚ and company chaplain. He was actively involved in all fire department and emergency squad activities.

LeRoy took his first EMT class in 1977 and responded as an EMT with Tioga Emergency Squad for 21 years. While recertifying in 1995‚ he had quintuple bypass surgery‚ yet made sure he passed the final exam. After bilateral knee replacement at age 70‚ he decided not to refresh his EMT‚ but continued as a vital member of the emergency squad as a driver. He completed biannual physicals and required training through the department‚ maintaining his ability to operate as a firefighter and driver for all department vehicles. He typically responded on 50% of the department’s calls annually‚ but he listened to 100%‚ keeping track of every call in his pocket calendar book. As a retired individual‚ he was able to respond during the day when staffing was harder to find. The day he died‚ his 64th wedding anniversary‚ he responded because he knew he would be needed.

LeRoy encouraged many people to join the volunteer fire and EMS ranks. Both daughters volunteered as EMTs‚ became medics‚ and then made EMS a career decision. His son is a volunteer fire chief‚ EMT‚ and member of the county fire investigation team. His grandchildren have continued the tradition‚ and he was working on convincing his great-grandson to do the same when he died. He carried fire department applications with him‚ handing them out and recruiting regularly.

LeRoy was a dedicated and well respected fireman who is greatly missed by his community and his fellow members. He is survived by his wife‚ two daughters‚ a son‚ 7 grandchildren‚ and 9 great-grandchildren.