Deborah Susan Kemp, 71, most recently of Canonsburg, PA went home to be with the Lord on November 15, 2022 at St. Clair Hospital. Debbie was born on January 25, 1951 in McDonald, Pennsylvania to Alzenia Heath Kemp and Charles Kemp who both precede her in death. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of McDonald PA.
Deborah graduated from Canon McMillan schools in 1968. While she attended Robert Morris College in Pittsburgh she worked at Kaufman’s department store. She graduated from Robert Morris in 1971 with an Associate degree from the Secretarial Administration program. She began a long career of almost 30 years with Sears as the Manager of Wearing Apparel at Sears in Washington PA. She then moved to Barboursville, WV to finish her retail career at Sears there. In May 2004 she earned an Associate degree in Applied Science (Social Work) from Marshall University in Huntington, WV and transitioned to a career in social work with the Department of Health and Human Services for Cabell County.
Deborah is survived by her brother Matthew (Jeannine) Lewis of Thomasville, NC, sister-in-law C. Vanetta Lewis of McDonald PA, and brother-in law Philip L. Johnson, Sr. of Pittsburgh, PA. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by sisters Doris Lewis Sargeant and Vallee Barbara Kemp Johnson and brother Marvin Roland Lewis, Sr. A host of nieces, nephews, and cousins survive. In addition Deborah was a doting godmother to Randall Britt, Jr., Philip L Johnson III, Domenique Vallee Wicks, and Gabrielle Hamer Berneburg.
Debbie, as her family and friends called her, loved crafting, family, sports, and fashion as evidenced by the number of photo albums and scrapbooks she created. Her scrapbooks were filled with family photos and articles about the Pittsburgh Steelers, nephew Marvin Lewis, Jr, former head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, and Uncle Raymond Kemp of the 1933 Steelers (then Pirates) team. She also included articles about the works of her Pulitzer prize-winning photographer brother, Matthew Lewis and photos of travels with dear sister Doris.
Debbie’s friends and family admired her ability to keep in touch with and connect family far and wide. A family member said “Ancestry.com’s got nothing on Debbie!” She also enjoyed daily phone calls from her long-time friend, Opal Jones, from her Sears days in WV and her cousin Gloria Barbour of Bridgeville who recently passed.
Debbie’s estate is creating an endowment to support African American children that are aging out of the foster care system and entering Robert Morris University. The endowment will support their housing, meals and education needs. Friends and family will be notified when the fund will be accepting donations for this cause that was so dear to her.
Private funeral services were entrusted to Nation Funeral Home Inc. McDonald, PA,