Kemp Jeff Wilson

KEMP JEFF WILSON 1939 - 2008

It's been a wonderful, yet challenging year! My Father was diganosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer a year ago. Over the past year our family has spent a great deal of time together, celebrating our happiest moments and acknowledging the difficult times. For me it's been an amazing experience and I've had the opportunity to spend quality time with my Dad laughing, crying and just being together. On April 5th in the early morning, my Dad died. It was very sad and painful, yet I feel such a strong sense of relief that he's out of pain and moved on to his next life. I had a dream that night prior to his death that we were together and I was telling him about different struggles that I was experiencing and his response was "Meg, just laugh." And that was who my father was (and is) -- a very supportive, loving spirit who had the gift and ability to laugh when things became difficult. He was always wise and knew when to laugh and use humor to help people put things into perspective.

When I was a senior in high school, I had to write an essay in my government studies class on the person I admired the most. I chose my dad. I wish that I still had the essay, but I'm sure that many of the things that I admired about him then, are what I admire about him now. My Dad was a man of great integrity and true loving kindness. I remember as a child time when we'd be out somewhere and someone would act pissy. I'd comment on this, and my father would say "Meg, you never know what's going on in someone elses life and it's always better to be kind."

My father loved knowlege and history and was always reading to learn more. He made a career as an oil and gas attorney, but when I asked him on his last visit if he were to do it over again, would he have gone into law -- he said "no," he would have been a journalist -- as he was as an undergrad at Montana State University. One of the things that I'll miss about my father's absence is that he was always the person I could call on for information -- if I had a political or historical question, he was always well read and versed on the subject.

My father was also very committed to family and family history. He's the one who has inspired my interest in this as well, I have become the family archiver and have taken the role with great love and commitment. My father and I often spoke about collaborating on a book about our family history -- since it is such an interesting one -- and I hope to fulfill this project with my father's guidance.

I love you Dad.

Dad with his dad, Jeff Wilson 1939

Dad with his grandmother Ana Wilson, 1940

Dad with his dad, Jeff Wilson, 1940

Dad with his dad, mother and little brother Sande, 1942

Dad with his grandfather, Jack Wilson, 1941

Dad with his grandfather, Harry Kemp, 1940

Dad and his brother Sande, 1944

Dad with his brother Sande and grandfather, Jack Wilson, 1944

Dad with his brother Sande and grandfather, Jack Wilson, 1949

Dad with his brothers Sande and Gary, 1950

Dad, 1957