Mrs. Virginia Beard Kemp, 91, of Bamberg, SC, passed away Thursday, September 5, 2019. Funeral services for Mrs. Kemp will be held on Sunday, September 8, at Bamberg First Baptist Church at 3:00, with the Reverend Brad Hudson officiating. Burial will follow at Bamberg Memory Gardens. Visitation will be Saturday, September 7, from 6 to 8 at the church fellowship hall.
Virginia Belle Beard Kemp was born in Bamberg on March 14, 1928, to Henry Granite Beard and Rossie Gray Beard in the same bedroom where her beloved father had been born. Mrs. Kemp is survived by six children: Phyllis (Gene) Schwarting, Jr.; Bobby (June) Kemp; Billy (Frankie) Kemp; Nancy (Bruce) Watson; Jim (Paige) Kemp; and Richard (Alice) Kemp; fifteen grandchildren: Gene (Kathy) Schwarting, III; Ann (Alex) Boykin; Carroll Kemp Brabham; Lissa (Jason) Myers; Warren (Faith) Armstrong; Samantha Armstrong; Maddie Kemp; Harley (Jacob) Reid; Matthew (Lindsay) Kemp; Kemp Watson; Aubrey (Richard) Purvis; Zachary (Haley) Kemp; Ethan Kemp (fiancée Cassidy Hall); April (Ricky) Spitz; and Allie Gray Kemp; eighteen great-grandchildren: Tav and Garris Schwarting; Dutch and Gage Boykin; Anna Grayce and Brayden Brabham; Watson and Avery Myers; Lee Armstrong; McCall and Walker Kemp; Kathryn Belle Reid; Mayes and Claire Watson; Makinley, Ryder, and Rivers Purvis; and Margot Gray Spitz; a sister, Rosilyn (Richard) Earley; a sister-in-law, Nancy Beard; and two dear friends, Betty Maxwell and Jeanette Meeks. Mrs. Kemp was predeceased by her husband of fifty-four years, Judge R. W. (Bob) Kemp, Jr., her sister, Johnnie Ann Smoak; and a brother, Henry Granite (Sonny) Beard, Jr.
Mrs. Kemp wore many hats and answered to many names. To her husband she was Mule, to her children she was Mama, to her grands, great-grands and their friends she was Mema, to her cousins she was Virginia Belle, and to her friends she was, of course, Virginia.
Mrs. Kemp was a loyal, Red Raider fan and rarely missed a home or away game until her health began to fail. She was also an avid bridge player and belonged to several clubs. Mrs. Kemp’s proudest accomplishment and greatest source of joy was her large family who could always be found gathered by the dozens at their Faust Street home. Nothing delighted her more than the birth of the latest addition to TEAM KEMP, which now numbers fifty-four.
The family would like to thank all the caregivers, both at home and at Pruitt Health, for the love and compassion shown over the past few years. Memorials may be made to Bamberg First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 355, Bamberg, SC 29003, or to the Bamberg School District One Educational Foundation, 3830 Faust St., Bamberg, SC 29003.
Cooner Funeral Home, LLC, (www.coonerfuneralhome.com) 287 McGee St., Bamberg, SC 29003 is assisting the family with arrangements.