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Obituary: Donald Lee Kemp, Jr., 65

Donald Lee Kemp, Jr. Age 65, of Ashland City, Tennessee passed away suddenly on Christmas morning, Friday, December 25, 2020. He was born in Nashville, Tennessee on April 11, 1955 to Donald and Ruth Roy Kemp.

Donnie, a 1973 graduate of Cheatham County High School, was a well known and highly respected businessman operating Kemp’s Foodland for over 30 years. After retiring from the grocery business, he focused on rental and property development through Kemp’s, Inc. His success in business was used to support various philanthropic interests for everything from international Christian organizations to local little league teams. He was a faithful member and former board member of First Church Nashville, and also served on the board for Center House Ministries and World Revivals, Inc. In addition to serving his church, he also generously served his community.

His hobbies included all genres of music and various sports, of which he enjoyed playing and watching. Some of his favorites were the Braves and Vanderbilt baseball teams, the Titans and the ’85 Bears football teams, and he notably admired the talent of Tom Brady and Walter Peyton. His love of sports was most noticed when he sat on the bleachers to watch his grandchildren play.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Tommy Kemp and grandson John Lee Melton.

Donnie is survived by his devoted wife of over 45 years, Jackie Jenkins Kemp, his loving daughters Valerie Kemp, Melinda (Scott) Ruffin, Joanna (John) Melton, his adored grandchildren Jackson Kemp, Greyson and Dylan Ruffin, Mary Ella, Naomi and Eliza Melton, mother-in-law Mary Grey Jenkins, aunts Jean Kemp and Nancy Outlaw, uncle Hubert Cummins and many cousins.

The funeral service will be held Monday, December 28th at 6:00 pm at First Church Nashville, 7512 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, Tennessee and will be live streamed online at and at firstchurchnashville on Facebook. The graveside service will be held Tuesday, December 29 at 12:00 noon at Forest Hill Cemetery, Ashland City, Tennessee. Bishop Ron Becton, Reverend Roy Duke, and Reverend David Bryan officiating. Face masks will be required and social distancing will be in place.

Serving as pallbearers are Charles Allen, Toney Collier, Roy Eatherly, David Hofstetter, Billy Kemp, Jr., and Steve Roach.

Honorary pallbearers are John Atkins, Kenny Arms, Rev. Charlie Dodd, John Hall, Dan Horvath, John Kennedy, Francisco Martin, Rev. John Meador, Johnny Melton, Harris Nicholson, Jimmy Noe, Mike Pope, Larry Scheib, Rick Statler, Judge Bill Stinnett, James Stephens, Morris Tidwell, The Spring Street Boys, Dr. Leah Cordovez and staff, and Dr. Andrew Zurich and staff.

The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Cheatham County Habitat for Humanity or Center House Nashville, a recovery home sponsored by First Church Nashville.

Cheatham County Funeral 615-792-2552 online condolences at


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