Tom E. Kemp, JR.


Thomas E. Kemp Jr. passed from this life March 27, 2019 on his 59th birthday after developing complications from the flu. He was born March 27, 1960 in Ada, Oklahoma to Thomas Elwood and Gloria Mazzolini Kemp. Tom grew up in Ada where he attended St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School. He graduated from Ada High School in 1978. He attended the University of Oklahoma where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi and obtained a degree in accounting and business in 1982. He also became a certified public accountant shortly thereafter. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma School of Law in 1985 and then obtained a Masters' of Law in Tax from Southern Methodist University. Tom was in the private practice of law in Norman until he was tapped to serve as General Counsel of the Oklahoma Tax Commission in 1997.

Tom's dedication to his community and strong work ethic led to his appointment as a Commissioner of the Oklahoma Tax Commission in 2001 by Governor Frank Keating and he served for many years as its Chairman. He was reappointed in 2007 by Governor Brad Henry and again in 2013 by Governor Mary Fallin. Tom served the State in that role until his death. Tom had a servant's heart and was proud of all that he helped to accomplish during this tenure. All who worked with Tom or called upon him knew he maintained an open-door policy where he was easily accessible to taxpayers, his colleagues and others who needed his advice.

Tom inherited his father's love for all things OU from attending OU football games with his parents and siblings in his early years. Later, as a resident of Norman, he was a constant presence at OU athletic events and often traveled for games. He continued to support his Beta Theta Pi Fraternity as a dedicated alumnus. Many of his high school friends and fraternity brothers remained his best friends throughout his life.

Tom was an avid golfer, although his enthusiasm for the game often out-matched his ability. Searching for errant balls was just part of the enjoyment of a round, no matter where he played. Few, other than family, know of his true talent as a self-taught pianist. He regularly entertained his family by playing his favorite songs, his piano music often filling his home. His passion for travel began at an early age, piling in the family station wagon for trips to Missouri. Enduring memories were created with regular trips with his parents and siblings, and later with his own family, to the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego and Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. The days before his death were spent with his family enjoying the fresh snow in Vail, Colorado.

If true love is worth the wait, then Ashley was Tom's prize. He accepted her family as his own, and Tom loved and adored Alex and Megan. Their son Tommy was a joyous addition, and Tom relished his role as father, playmate, coach, and mentor. His children were his pride and joy and will continue as his legacy.

Tom was a member of St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church. His dedication to his faith and family shall forever be an example for all to follow. He was preceded in passing by his father, Thomas Elwood Kemp. Those left to cherish his memories include: his wife, Ashley Kemp; children, Alexander Williams, Megan Williams, and Thomas E. Kemp III; mother, Gloria Kemp and her husband Paul Rogers; brother, Jim Kemp, his wife Lorrie and their children, Brandon, Ross, Katy and Emily; brother, Mike Kemp; sister, Liz Brown, her husband Ron and their children, son, Matt, his wife Ryanne, and their children Michael and Daniel, daughter, Lauren Warner and her husband, Eric and son, Andy Brown; sister, Sue Hanna, her husband Gary, and their daughter, Casey, husband Ryan and their son, Ford; sister, Mary Milsten, her husband, Marc and their children, Jennifer, Hailey and Erin. He is also survived by a host of loving extended family and friends.

The viewing will begin at 3:00 p.m. at Havenbrook Funeral Home in Norman on Friday March 29th, with a Rosary Service following at 5:00 p.m., and with the Wake and eulogies/remembrances beginning at 6:00 p.m. The funeral mass will take place on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mark The Evangelist Catholic Church, with the burial following at St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery. Tom was a type 1 diabetic and the family would suggest that, in lieu of gifts or flowers, donations instead be made either to the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, St. Mark's Catholic Church or a charity of the donor's choosing made in Tom's honor.
Published on March 28, 2019
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14 posts

Leslie McLain
Apr 22, 2019
I worked at Tax for ten years, & while all the commissioners were friendly, Tom was the most. I remember how proud he was when his son was born. I am truly sorry for your loss.
Greg Frizzell
Apr 08, 2019
This is a great loss to Oklahoma. We loved and respected Tom. May the peace that surpasses all human understanding be with Ashley and the family.
Bob and Monte Houseman
Mar 30, 2019
Our family extends their condolences to the Kemp Family. We love all of you and will keep you in our prayers. Love to all, Bob and Monte Houseman and Family
Evelyn Mandell Miller
Mar 30, 2019
Sending my love and sympathy to Tom's family. He will always be remembered. May God give you strength as you suffer the loss.
georgia garriott
Mar 29, 2019
many blessing on his wife and children and also his mother gloria prayers sent
Rick Bullard
Mar 29, 2019
I couldn't have had a better friend than Elwood. God bless him and the family. Thanks.
Martha Harlan
Mar 29, 2019
Tom was a great guy, he was loved by many. I was glad to know him and be part of the class of 1978 with him.We will all mis him.
Jack and Becky Clifton
Mar 29, 2019
We are so sorry to learn of Tom's sudden passing. Our deepest sympathies for your loss.
RaeAnn Fleet Gossett
Mar 29, 2019
I love the Kemp family. I have so many good memories of spending lots of time in your home. Prayers for all of you during this difficult time.
Robert Jaques
Mar 29, 2019
Travelled with Tom and Elwood on many trips including to "The Del", the World Series and to "The Kick" Goodbye "June Bug"
Steve Myers
Mar 29, 2019
Your laugh echoed through the halls of Ada High and during gatherings decades later... and every time it was heard, we smiled. Now... we bet God is grinning because of you. Bless you and your family.
James Keith Trent
Mar 29, 2019
My family will be praying for your family during this great loss. May God be close that you can hear his heartbeat and feel the presence of his arms wrapped around the entire family giving each and everyone peace and serenity. May God bless each and everyone.
Trent family
Tracy Frame Marino
Mar 28, 2019
I’ve always been proud to call Tom my friend. I loved his sense of humor and his laugh was wonderful and infectious. He had such a kind and sensitive heart for all who knew him. He especially loved his family and was loyal to his friends. He will be surely missed. Prayers for comfort and treasured sweet memories for his family.
Nancy and Richard Milsten
Mar 28, 2019
Our heartfelt condolences to the family.