James Wheler Kemp
James Wheler Kemp
  • June 16, 1930 - October 1, 2015
  • Campo, California

Share This Obituary

James Wheler Kemp, adored husband, father, grandfather, and friend, passed away on October 1, 2015.

Jim was born on June 16, 1930 in San Diego and lived on Cleveland Avenue in University Heights until the age of six when he moved to Campo where the family had been cattle ranching since the 1870’s.

Jim attended elementary in Campo and completed high school in 1948 at a former Mountain Empire campus at Boulder Oaks. His involvement in the cattle business began at an early age and he worked extensively with his father and brother before starting college.

Jim spent his first year of college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo before transferring to Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University) where he was just a few units shy of degree in animal science when the Korean War commenced. After volunteering for service in the Air Force, Jim spent over two years in Asia before being honorably discharged in 1953. After the war, Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from San Diego State University.

In 1958, he married Mary Ann Strahm from Holtville, CA. They had four children: Janice, Audrey, Valerie, and Jimmy.

During a 60 year career, based in Campo, Jim ran cattle on ranches throughout the southern and eastern areas of San Diego County to include locations in Mt. Laguna, La Posta, Descanso, Potrero, Rancho Bernardo, Cuyuamaca, Jacumba, Boulevard, Vallecitas, and Sky Valley. His last days were spent caring for his cows.

Jim is survived by his wife, four children, and five grandchildren (Leia, Elias, Chloe, Sara, and Cameron).

A memorial service will be held at the Pine Valley Community Center, 28890 Old Highway 80, Pine Valley, on Saturday, October 10th at 11:00 AM, followed by lunch at the Kemp Ranch in Campo.

Flowers may be delivered in care of Audrey Kemp at 426 Alpine Trail Road Alpine, CA 91901. In lieu of flowers, please donate to a favorite charity.