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Floral 16


Katherine "Kitty" Lee Kemp

May 25, 1929 ~ February 17, 2018 (age 88)

Katherine (Kitty) Lee Kemp

Diplomat, Benefactor

May 25, 1929 – February 17, 2018

Katherine (Kitty) Lee Kemp of Asheville, NC left us to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ early Saturday morning. Kitty (88) passed from natural causes after suffering a hip injury due to a fall and subsequent surgery in December. Predeceased by her parents, S. Worthington Kemp Sr. and Catherine Lee Kemp of Poynton Manor Farm, Welcome, MD; her brother and sister-in-law, also of Poynton Manor Farm B.B. and Ellen Kemp Sr.; brother, S. Worthington (Jack) Kemp, Jr. of Long Island, NY and her younger sister, Marcella Kemp, Daughters of Charity, Cochabamba, Bolivia; Kitty is survived by her sister-in-law, Isabelle Kemp of Long Island NY, four nephews, nine nieces, nine grandnephews, six grandnieces and a pair of great-grandnephews and great-grand nieces, and by her dearest friends, who were with her to the last, Carita Byrd and Mary DeGroot of Asheville, NC.

Born in Granite, MD, Kitty moved at an early age with her family to Chapel Point, MD, where she attended Sacred Heart School, then moving onto Poynton Manor Farm with her family in 1941 and graduating from Sacred Heart High School in 1947, and later from St. Joseph College, Emmitsburg, MD in 1951.  Kitty later earned an MBA from Stanford University in the mid 1970’s. Upon graduating from St Joseph College, Kitty embarked on a long, successful career with the U.S. Department of State, starting as a secretary in 1951 and retiring as a Vice-Consul in 1990. She was nominated and approved October 17, 1980 by the 97th Congress (1981-82) for appointment as a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service of the United States of America, Class of Career Minister. During her career, she served in various diplomatic postings around the world, including Hong Kong and Manilla in the Asian Pacific, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Quito, Ecuador, in South America; Cameroon and Nigeria in Africa, and Rome, Italy. Her final posting was at the embassy in Ankara, Turkey. Always generous and thoughtful, Kitty would find unique gifts and mementos from her travels to send to her nephews and nieces. An accomplished linguist, Kitty spoke Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French and Chinese.

Ever independent, Kitty was a quick-witted, delightful conversationalist with a dry sense of humor, twinkling eye, a ready, engaging smile and impeccable taste. She presaged the era of feminism, embodying all its virtues though always with a reserved, dignified calm manifesting a diplomatic manner suited to her profession while bespeaking of her genteel breeding of an earlier, less confrontational era. Kitty was a generous benefactor of the Daughters of Charity missions in Bolivia. Her hobbies included, golf, gardening, sewing and a life-long love of continuing education via the College for Seniors in Asheville, NC. She was also a keen fan of opera, for many years enjoying season tickets to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. In retirement, Kitty continued her foreign travels, displaying a keen interest in archaeology and antiquities, never shying away from dangerous corners of the world. Aunt Kitty was always a welcome, charming houseguest, predisposed to the least disruption of her host’s household. We will miss her, but count our loss as the Lord’s gain.

The family will receive friends on Monday, March 5, 2018 at the Arehart-Echols Funeral Home LaPlata, MD (211 St. Mary's Ave., LaPlata, MD) from 10 to 12 noon followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Ignatius Chapel Pt. Church (8855 Chapel Point Rd., Port Tobacco, MD) at 12:30 PM. Interment to follow in the Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Catholic Charities ( or Basilica of St. Lawrence (PO Box 1850, Asheville, NC 28802).

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