Richard W. Kemmery, age 73, died April 17, 2020 at home in Frackville surrounded by his immediate family. Richard died peacefully in his sleep after a hard fought battle with mounting health issues.
Richard is survived by his wife of nearly 44 years, Kathy, their four children Brian Kemmery, Megan Kemmery Reister, Mark Kemmery, and Patrick Kemmery, two daughters-in-law, Alisha and Liz, one son-in law, Adam, and eight adoring grandchildren Mason Noelle, Clark, Braden, Nicholas; Charlotte Ann; Thomas, Benjamin, and Daniel.
Richard is an Air Force veteran having completed 20 years of service to his beloved branch, retiring as Master Sergeant. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War, during which he served as a special operator combat controller. For his heroic service, he earned multiple medals and continued his Air Force career as an air traffic controller at Dover Air Force Base, during which time he met a special education teacher from Pittsburgh and asked her to dance – the first step which led to the dedicated family who supported him at his bedside until his final breath.
He grew up in Port Carbon, the son of his parents Robert “Pop” and Alice Appleby Kemmery. He was preceded in death by both parents and his brother Robert and sisters Ollie and Ruth.
He dedicated his life to serving his country, family, and community. After his retirement from the Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Fairborn, Ohio, he continued his service to his former brothers and sisters in arms and current veterans by working as an accountant for the Lebanon VA Medical Center. Prior to working for the VA, he was employed as a purchasing agent at H.L. Miller’s in Schuylkill Haven.
He coached his sons’ Little League baseball teams, acted as Cub Scout den leader, served on the Advisory Committee of Holy Family School, and spent countless hours supporting every endeavor his four children pursued. He, himself, pursued and enjoyed several hobbies: motorcycle riding, flying airplanes through his private pilot’s license, playing golf, watching baseball, gathering with fellow Pottsville High School Class of ’65 alum (during which he loved to reminisce about his days of playing the drums in PAHS’ band) at their monthly breakfasts, and taking road trips with Kathy.
In keeping with the theme of service to the community, Richard worked at Schuylkill County Housing Authority, was a volunteer paramedic, and Frackville Little League treasurer. After his next retirement, with Kathy by his side, their volunteer work continued as they visited local nursing homes with their loyal collie dog, they delivered Meals on Wheels, and joined the prison ministry team allowing him to share his Catholic faith after having converted 45 years ago.
Even in his last years, whether traveling to be with his children and grandchildren or serving those closer to home, he always focused on those most in need. His work life and volunteer efforts mirror the values he exhibited daily as a husband, father, and grandfather. The needs of others remained his top priority throughout his entire life.
A private family service will be held at St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church, Schuylkill Haven, PA and he will be interred at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. Live streaming services will be available at 10:30 a.m. Thursday April 23rd via a link that can be found on www.thomasmsullivanfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Richard’s name can be made to the American Heart Association at PO Box 417005 Boston, MA 02241-7005 would be very much appreciated.