Philip J. Kemper passed away on January 28, 2019 in Vero Beach, Florida following a sudden and short battle with cancer. Born in Syracuse, New York in 1956, Philip lived most of his life in the upstate New York region. He and his wife, Susan, later moved to Vero Beach, Florida and summered on Wellesley Island, New York. He will be most remembered for his contribution as a leader in the wire industry. His career began in 1978 as shift manager at the family business, Owl Wire and Cable, in Canastota, New York. Subsequently, he worked in sales, production management, and finally served as president. In 1989, he and his brother, Robert Kemper, expanded their business to include a transportation company, Owl Logistics. In 1994, their entrepreneurial spirit was extended to Carrolton, Georgia where they opened Raven Wire. All three business entities were sold to the Marmon Group of Chicago in 1999. Even after he left Owl, he maintained relationships with many of his co-workers and looked back on the time with them as some of the best years of his life. Philip's presence in the wire industry has been widely recognized. He was the recipient of the Charles Scott Distinguished Award and a life time member of the International Wire Association.
After retirement from the wire industry, Philip became the general manager of Babbitt Bearing. He served on the boards of the Syracuse Metropolitan Development Agency, Manufacturers Association of
Central New York, and the YMCA. He also was a participant on the Onondaga Community Foundation. His Galloo Foundation has supported a wide range of charitable causes since its inception in 2000 and will be a continuing instrument for his philanthropy.
Philip enjoyed sports cars and boating on the St. Lawrence River, but his main hobby was golf. He was a steady and capable golfer (and a very good putter). More importantly, Philip was an ever-affable playing partner. He was a member of Onondaga Country Club, Thousand Island Golf Club, and Grand Harbor Country Club in Vero Beach. Florida. He was a 1974 graduate of Fayetteville-Manlius High School and 1978 graduate of Niagara University.
Everyone who knew Phil appreciated his mild manner and sense of humor. There was never a dull moment when he was around. He had the gift of making people feel special.
Philip was preceded in death by his mother and father, Helen and Robert Kemper of Fayetteville, New York. Philip is survived by his wife, Susan (Lyga) Kemper; four Kemper children, Mary Beth, Steven, Joseph, and Emmett Sullivan Kemper; four Armstrong step-children, Brett, Chad, Jamie and Ross; his brother, Robert Kemper, his sister, Mary Nell Kemper Dolan; and many nieces, nephews and grandchildren.
There will be a memorial service at a later date with arrangements to be announced. A private family burial will be held this spring at Wellesley Island Cemetery, New York.
Memorial contributions can be made to The American Cancer Society. P.O Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.