Posted by: associate editor | 11 March 2011

In Memory: P/R/C Harry Kemp, SN

P/R/C Harry J. Kemp, SN

P/R/C Harry J. Kemp, SN

P/R/C Harry J. Kemp, SN, came into this world on 11 April 1925. Harry was one of four children. Margaret, his oldest sister, and his brother’s wife, Eileen, and his niece, Kim, his son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Sarah and his three grandchilden, Brendan, Ryan and Ally, and his wife, Kay, Kay’s daughter, April, and her two daughters, Rachel and Bonnie, survive him.

After completing his education, Harry joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 and proudly served as a member of the “Black Gang” in the engine room on a cruiser in the South Pacific during World War II.

Harry married his first wife, Billie, around 1946. They traveled the world together. The arrival of a son, Michael, completed their family until Michael married Sarah, and together they gave them three beautiful grandchildren.

Harry had licenses in air conditioning, heating, etc., and retired from Benjamin Cardozo High School as a custodial engineer. He was his union’s advocate for the blood bank while at Cardozo.

Harry was a devoted friend. Once you became his friend, you were his friend for life. P/R/C James Minogue, SN, member emeritus, was Harry’s squadron brother and enjoyed a lifetime of friendship with him.

He loved his New York Mets, and while watching the games, Harry enjoyed his favorite beer, Budweiser.

While residing in Mineola, N.Y., Harry joined Bayside Power Squadron on 9 Jan. 1960. He received his Senior Member Award in 1965 as well as his Educational Proficiency Award. In 1967, Harry received his coveted Educational Achievement Award, otherwise known in those days as a full certificate, or N.

Harry’s true love was LURE, a 42-foot Mathews that was berthed in Sag Harbor. He enjoyed cruising the waters of Long Island Sound, Connecticut, Rhode Island and the areas around Cape Cod with his family and his fellow squadron members.

Harry came onto the Bayside Power Squadron bridge in 1976 as the administrative officer and served as commander from 1978–1979. He was the epitome of a squadron member, active in all aspects of education, civic service and fraternity.

From 1987–1989 Harry served as District 3 educational officer. Let me share a memory from this time. Harry, for want of a better word, was shy with women, and it came as a complete surprise when my husband, Guy, received a call from Harry. Harry did not want to speak with Guy; he wanted to speak with me. Guy sat there, holding the phone, staring at it and saying, “It’s Harry and he wants to speak to you!”

I responded, “Harry who?” Harry was calling to ask me to accept the chairmanship of the District 3 Sail committee.

He became the District 3 commander in 1993—and Harry’s Helmsmen came into being. Known as “Dad” to many of his commanders, he enjoyed a year of unconditional support and devotion from his Helmsmen. I was fortunate to be Harry’s “chief wife.” After all, he said, someone has to make the final decisions. His other wives included Diana Minogue of Bayside Power Squadron, Ruth Appel, and Judy DeMeglio of Brooklyn Power Squadron.

Harry was asked to serve on the national Budget Committee, from which he retired as a rear commander.

He was recognized as a member emeritus for 50 years of service to USPS at the 2010 USPS Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla.

–This eulogy was written and presented by Bayside Power Squadron Chaplain P/R/C Nina P. Anastasio, SN, at Harry’s memorial service on 28 Feb. 2011.

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Responses

  1. As Custodian Engineer for Local 891 he received a BLOOD DONOR AWARD for donating 11 GALONS of his blood To Perpetuate The Highest Ideals of Brotherhood.

    I have spoken
    Kay Kemp

  2. Harry served as DEO when I was commander of Old Firld Point Squadron.
    He is remembered as a true “gentleman” and displaying the real meaning of the word. He will surely be missed by all who new him.

  3. A Great Teacher (with Kay’s help), who always had a kind response

  4. I met Harry at a D3 event not long after I joined GSBPS in ’91. We hit it off immediately when we compared notes that both of us served in the USN during WWII, he on a cruiser and I on a destroyer escort, but more than that our duties, when not at battle stations, were in the engine room, members of the “black gang”, also known as “snipes”. The names come from the old coal burning days when crews were covered with coal dust. From then on, Harry and I kept in touch and enjoyed each others conversations, which included reminiscence of some fearsome events during combat.
    You’d have to like Harry because of his friendly manner and his direct, concise way of expressing himself. Seeing and speaking to him and Kay together was always a great pleasure for me. To say I’ll miss him is an understatement. Geo.Kravis

  5. Harry became the commander of district 3 when the then current D/XO was unable to move up and Harry as a past DEO was approached to fill in. I met him for the first time when he invited the incoming commanders to his home one evening to meet us and to go over his plans for the 1993 year. Harry’s Helmsmen was born that night, and still survives as 5 active members. Last year we lost an active helmsman when Anne Schreitmueller passed. Harry was the soul of friendship, and a joy to be with. The Helmsmen all called him Dad, and I know that I treated him as a surrogate father. He was always a pleasure to be with. I will treasure always the 18 years of love and companionship he gave to us, and the love of USPS he instilled in us.

  6. Alison and I will sure miss Harry. WE had hoped he and Kay would move out here to Peconic Landing, here in Greenport.

    WE’re so very sorry to hear about this, Kay


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