Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bob Kemp - Mortgage Banker and Exemplary Father - Passes Away at 63

Occasionally you meet someone who does many things well and you wonder how they do it. In the case of Bob Kemp, who passed away suddenly this weekend, it is a story of singleness of purpose and focus on family.

Bob Kemp with son John (Prep 09) was
a fixture at the hockey rink.  Bob was
the Scott Smith Award recipient in 2007. 
Bob was a mortgage banker and, like many of us seasoned pros, had weathered the ups and downs the last three decades have wrought. I remember talking to him at the rink while we both waited to pick our sons up from hockey practice. I shared about my struggles managing the feast or famine cycles, and how the famine of that time (the post-2008 financial crisis) had hit my clients' businesses and mine.  He was sanguine in his response to me: "Every year is tough. Somehow, month after month, we look back at the end of the year, and we managed to make it."

I didn't get it.  Here was this laid back guy, but he had SEVEN (7) kids and was putting them all through private schools.  All of them were successful in their own way as athletes or students.  He didn't seem stressed out at all. I, on the other hand, felt my life in the mortgage business was a continuous stress sandwich... and I only had TWO kids in private school.

I realize now that his lesson was simple: focus on what is in front of you. Take care of the day to day and the big picture will take care of itself.  This bears repeating for those of us who face the seemingly overwhelming pressures of today's business decline. Somehow, month after month, we will manage to make it. So don't worry about it.

Here are several links about Bob:

Bethesda Magazine Article on Kemp Family
Bloomberg Listing on Bob's Career
Washington Post Obituary
Photo and Notice from Notre Dame Lacrosse
John Kemp - All American Goalie at Notre Dame

BK stickers emblazon the helmets of the Georgetown Prep Hoyas in memory of Bob Kemp, in solidarity with his sons who were major players in the program.  
BK on Notre Dame helmets honor the legacy of the Kemp Family
at Notre Dame.
If you wish to memorialize Bob, the family asks that you make a contribution to the Washington Jesuit Academy.

Bob's wake was held Thursday, May 15, 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Our Lady of Mercy in Potomac, MD.  If you wish to memorialize Bob, the family asks that you make a contribution to the Washington Jesuit Academy.


  1. very sad to hear of Bob's passing- what a great guy he was...always with sage advice...it was an honor calling on him over the years.

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