Book of Memories

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In Memory of
Harvey J. 
1921 - 2017
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Obituary for Harvey J. Kemper

Harvey Jessie Kemper, 96 , formerly of Mt. Vernon and later Quitman, went to be with the Lord on November 2, 2017. He was the twin brother of Harden N. Kemper, born on October 31, 1921 in Wooster, AR to sharecroppers Jubal and Leona Kemper. Harvey learned early the value of hard work and determination. He worked a plow behind a team of mules during many planting seasons along with the other farm tasks, which prepared him well for the duties he would face in the future.
In the late 1930's, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps serving in northwest Arkansas at Camp Ozone. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he and his brother Harden then served in World War ll entering the United States Marine Corps on July 20, 1942 in the 2nd Base Depot, 2nd Marine Division as part of the Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. He was stationed with his brother in New Zealand and then at Pearl Harbor at the time of the West Loch Disaster, known to the servicemen, as the "2nd Pearl Harbor", an event which was finally declassified in 1960 with the first memorial being unveiled in 1995. He served in the Battle of Saipan in the 7thField Depot for the duration of that battle. He received the Presidential Unit Citation for his combat service there.
Harvey met the love of his life, Dorothy A. Flanders, a Navy WAVE in the Hospital Corps, on Parris Island, SC and married her on June 6, 1946 in Pensacola, FL. Serving in both the Fleet Marine Forces of the Pacific and Atlantic, stations included Atsugi, Japan following the war and Vieques, Puerto Rico with many stateside stations including Key West, FL, Panama City, FL, Camp Lejeune, NC, Tallahassee, FL and Albany, GA where he was Supply Chief for the Marine Corp Logistics Base for the Atlantic forces. He guarded two United States Presidents. Master Sergeant Kemper retired from the Corp in 1962 and returned with his family to Arkansas.
His 50 plus years after retirement have been filled with numerous endeavors including serving as a Tucker Prison guard, installing residential butane/propane systems, ranching, and building/stretching miles of barbed wire fence as a 2nd career that spanned four decades.
Harvey loved his family and friends, his community, his country, and more than that, his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He was a dedicated Christian serving his fellow man with kindness and generosity where ever he went. He served as a deacon for the congregation of believers at El Paso First Baptist Church who were all especially near and dear to his heart. His hobbies included hunting, fishing, gardening, and attending Gospel singings.
He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 67 years, Dorothy, his parents, Jubal A. and Leona (Prothro) Kemper, his sisters, Mildred Owen and Florence Kemper, his brothers, Dudley A. Kemper and Harden N. Kemper, and son-in-law, Alton Arnold.
Left to cherish his memory are his 3 children, Dolores (Gary) Littrell of Searcy, Gregory H.(Debbie) Kemper of Mt. Vernon, and Leona "Lea" (Ricky) Kemper-Cash of Quitman; Eleven grandchildren, Jesse (Jennifer) Arnold , Michael (Courtney) Arnold, Matthew Arnold, Joseph (Shea) Arnold, Lance (Heather) Kemper, Daniel (Haley) Kemper, Jill (Kasey) Jones, Amy (Justin) Cowart, Daren Cash, Bryan Cash, and Brandon (Amanda) Cash, many beloved great grandchildren, as well as a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, and so many other family members and friends.
Visitation will be at 1:00 pm followed by services at 2:00 pm at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church with Brother Larry Grubbs and Brother Tommy Bush officiating. Burial will follow at Oliver Cemetery in the Redhill Community.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Oliver Cemetery Trust at 744 Wayne Walker Road, Romance, AR 72136.
Pall Bearers are Jesse Arnold, Lance Kemper, Daniel Kemper, Michael Arnold, Matthew Arnold, and Joseph Arnold.
Arrangements entrusted to Clinton Funeral Service. To sign Harvey's Book of Memories, please go to

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