Billy Richard Kemp, 79, of Orange, passed away after brief illness, at approximately 1 A.M. Saturday May 28, in his home with family members at his side. He was born Sept. 25, 1931 to Walter Lee Kemp and Verna Lee Kemp of Ackerman, MS.

Billy married Shirley Jeanette McHan on Jan. 27, 1951, and as part of a planned move to Michigan in search of employment in the automotive industry, they stopped in Orange, to visit family. The couple’s plans changed and they settled in Orange and Billy held various jobs before being hired by DuPont from which he retired in 1985, at the age of 53. He had many fond memories of his time and colleagues at DuPont, and many friendships endured until his death.

Billy enjoyed gardening, fishing, camping and traveling, including several trips abroad. He was known for his strong opinions (some called them “facts”), but he was also known to be eager and willing to do anything for anybody. He was multi-talented in the things he could do, and he took pride in making sure to do them all “right”.

He enjoyed teaching his children and others how to do things for themselves. Until his final day, Billy was passionate about current events and their effect on those less fortunate and powerful. He badly wanted to inspire and enable grass-roots uprisings to fight the injustices he saw, but realizing he did not have the skills required he tried endlessly to motivate others to do so.

He is survived by his wife Shirley; brother Walter Jr. “W.L.”; three sons Gary, with wife Alice, Tracy, with wife Mary, and Terry; five grandchildren, Chad, with wife Ashley, Brent, Clayton, Preston, and Austin; one step-great grandson, Caden; one great granddaughter, Abigail Royall; and a great grandson, expected in September.

He was predeceased by his sister, Winnie Ruth “Baby Ruth” Kemp.

Billy requested a private family service which was held at Dorman’s Funeral Home on May 29, followed by cremation.

In his final days, Billy commented to family members that he knew this would happen sooner or later – he just never expected it to be sooner.

In lieu of flowers, he would rather you honor his memory by acknowledging that the time for all here is short, and to savor it rather than rush through seeking something that is not there.