11/03/06 — Community first: Bill Kemp’s life was spent serving family, Wayne County

View Archive

Community first: Bill Kemp’s life was spent serving family, Wayne County

The great ones really do not understand just how much they have given. After all, to them, it is just part of their duty to themselves and their community.

So, it is probably unlikely Bill Kemp ever really thought he was any more important than any of the hundreds of people whose lives he has helped change over the years.

In fact, when he was honored by the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce for his contributions not only to the business community, but to Wayne County, he said so in so many words after graciously accepting the Cornerstone Award.

He was just a simple man who was blessed to have been able to have so many opportunities and wonderful friends and family to support him, he said.

But, despite his trademark humility, Mr. Kemp was something special.

His legacy can be found in the Boy Scouts he championed and the school system he helped shape.

His contributions can be seen in the business he tended and the leadership role he took in promoting economic development in Wayne County.

His heart and soul can be seen in the family he raised and in their successes and dedication to the principles he taught them.

Mr. Kemp’s commitment to his community’s history can be seen in the hundreds of hours he spent over the years helping to promote, maintain and grow Waynesborough Historical Village.

No job was too small for Bill Kemp, the other volunteers at the Old Waynesborough Commission say. He was as much a part taking care of the day-to-day chores as he was with the fundraising and promotion.

That’s what you do when you think first of others and what you can do for the generations who have come before you and those will come along afterwards.

Mr. Kemp was also a longtime and beloved member of the Goldsboro Rotary Club. He will be missed, club members say, but he will never be forgotten.

There are literally hundreds of people whose lives have been affected by the work Bill Kemp helped to accomplish. From once-little Boy Scouts all grown up now to those who will know a little bit more about where they came from because someone cared enough to preserve the county’s past, his memory will live on in hearts and minds for generations.

And there could be no better tribute to a man who did so much than to take care of the community he worked so hard to protect and serve.

His shoes will never really be filled.

Published in Editorials on November 3, 2006 11:13 AM