Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Bill Kemp

| August 5, 2005 12:00 AM

William A. (Bill) Kemp, 60, former supervisor of city services for the City of Libby, longtime volunteer fireman and chief of the Libby Volunteer Fire Department, died on July 28, 2005, at the Veterans Administration Medical Center at Fort Harrison, following a brief battle with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Bill was born on May 26, 1945, at Libby, to Walter and Geneva Kemp.

Raised and educated in Libby, Bill graduated from Libby High School with the Class of 1963. He participated and lettered in Libby Logger football and attended Rocky Mountain College at Billings.

Bill served with the U.S. Army infantry in Vietnam, where he was wounded three times while participating in the Tet offensive. He was awarded three Purple Hearts as well as additional unit citations for outstanding sevice.

Following his honorable discharge he returned to Libby.

Bill worked as a butcher at Bolyards Grocery, and after that business was destroyed by fire, he opened a meat market in the building on Second Avenue that earlier had housed Joughin's Meat Market.

A 26-year member of the Libby Volunteer Fire Department, Bill served as second assistant chief, assistant chief and was named chief in 1986, a position he held until he retired from the department in 1993.

Bill was a third generation member and chief of the Libby Volunteer Fire Department.

During his tenure as superintendent of city services, he was involved with project development and obtained funding for the Sheltered Workshop. He supervised the city's curb and storm drain project, the city ballpark grandstand construction, and as fire chief was instrumental in the development of the department's training center.

Bill was also an active participant in the Lincoln County Department of Emergency Services.

He was a member of the Montana Firefighters Association and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

A generous and kind-hearted person, Bill always had time for his family and friends.

Supportive of the activities of his children, Bill coached his daughter's softball team and also Libby's All-Star softball team that included his daughter and won the state championship in 1985.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Walt and Geneva Kemp, and by his sister, Joan Torgison.

Survivors include his wife of 35 years, Agnes; daughter Annie Kemp Bynum and her husband Tim, Lewiston, Idaho; son Dr. Walter (Willy) Kemp, Dallas, Texas; his father-in-law and mother-in-law Ray and Zita Gieser, Dickinson, N.D., and several nieces and nephews including Walt and Dan Torgison of Libby.

Services will be conducted at 10 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 8, at the Libby Christian Church, newly located at 100 Kootenai River Road.

Interment with full military honors will follow at the City of Libby Cemetery. A reception will follow at the VFW banquet hall.

Memorials may be made to the Libby Volunteer Fire Department, Box 796, Libby, MT 59923.

Arrangements are under the care of the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.