Richard Barrett Kemper, 92, of Punta Gorda, Florida died Thursday May 11, 2023, at SharePoint Health Hospital following a very short illness.
A native of Alexandria, Virginia, he was the son of the late Edward Lee Kemper and Martha Barrett Kemper. Dick graduated from Shelby High School in 1947 and was a lifelong pilot. After earning his Air Force Wings, 2nd Lt. Kemper was assigned to fly the B-26 Invader, arriving in Korea in 1953, one month after the Armistice. Following that tour he was assigned to the Strategic Air Command, where he flew the B-36 Peacemaker. He was honorably discharged in 1955 and began a long career in aircraft manufacturing. He was employed by Cessna in Wichita, Kansas as an engineer and production test pilot where he met and married his first wife, Sharon Ann Wells. Their three children were born in Wichita, moving to Cleveland Heights, Ohio in 1966, where he worked for Grumman American Aviation. The family relocated again in 1976 to Savannah, Georgia when Dick was promoted to Vice-President at Grumman/Gulfstream American as the company sought a more favorable climate for their general aviation production.
Following his retirement from manufacturing he owned and operated a successful aircraft accident investigation consulting firm until his retirement. Sharon and Richard divorced in 1994 and he later met and married Marie Gebbie-Kemper Adkins in 2004. Marie passed away in the summer of 2020. Surviving are two sons, Richard Barrett Kemper Jr. of Santa Clarita, California; Kurtis Edward Kemper of Ball Ground, Georgia; one daughter, Kellee Kemper Milheim of Waldorf, Maryland; 6 grandchildren; and 4 great-grandchildren.
Services will be held Friday July 14,th 2023, at 11:00am at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Punta Gorda with the Reverend Roy Tuff presiding. Richard’s ashes will be interred beside his beloved Marie in the Church of the Good Shepherd.
Friends may visit online at www.robersonfh.com to extend condolences to the family. Arrangements by Roberson Funeral Home & Crematory Punta Gorda Chapel.