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Hylee Fred Kemp

April 26, 1937 May 9, 2020
Hylee Fred Kemp
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Obituary for Hylee Fred Kemp

Peoria- Hylee Fred Kemp, age 83, of Peoria, passed away at 10:18 AM on Saturday, May 9, 2020 at his home surrounded by his loving family.

Born April 26, 1937 in Peoria, he was the son of Fred Hiram and Mary Louise (Sommerville) Kemp. He attended St. Thomas Grade School and graduated with the Spalding Class of 1955. Hylee went on to attend Bradley University receiving his BS degree in manufacturing technology. On April 25, 1964 he married Mary Kay Letourneau in Peoria and together they cherished 56 years.

In 1959 Hylee took over Kemp Mfg. Company, which manufactured and machined castings, forgings, and made bar products for the Heavy Equipment industries of middle western states, and grew it from two people to over 50 full time employees. He had a lifelong passion for being involved in the community and his favorite hobby farming, in which he annually raised approximately 150,000 ears of sweet corn all of which was picked and donated to charities. Hylee served as president and every other position during his 12 years as a member of the Peoria Heights Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of Ducks Unlimited for over 30 years, served as Peoria Area Chairman for both regular and Sponsor event, and was part of the Illinois Board for 20 years and a DU National Trustee.

Hylee continued his involvement in the community serving five years on the Peoria, Peoria Heights, and Western Railroad board, numerous Catholic Charities, and within the catholic education system, having maintained over 15 acres of athletic fields with volunteers known as the “lemonheads.” He cherished his catholic faith having Knighted the Order of the Holy Sepulchre and both graduated and worked in the Cursillo community. But most importantly Hylee cherished his family, especially the times he was able to teach his children about the value of hard work, family and faith. He never knew a stranger, was dearly loved by the community and will be deeply missed by all.

Survivors include his wife Mary Katherine (Kay) Kemp of Peoria; four children: Hylee “Matthew” (Lori) Kemp of Peoria, Brian Fred Kemp of Peoria, Jennifer Kemp Schwier of Dunlap and Katherine (Brian) Yureskes of Dunlap; seven grandchildren: Jack, Ryan and Olivia Schwier, Megan and Hylee Edward Kemp, and Ava and Logan Yureskes.

Hylee was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters Mary Beth (Kemp) Menor and Shirley (Kemp) Balaskas.

A private Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at St. Thomas Catholic Church with Msgr. Jason Gray officiating. Burial will follow in Resurrection Cemetery.

Memorials in Hylee’s memory may be made to St. Thomas Catholic Church, Peoria Notre Dame High School or Illinois Cancer Center.

Friends and family may sign the online guestbook or send private online condolences by logging onto


Event Information

Services are private.

Cemetery Details


Resurrection Cemetery & Mausoleum Final Resting Place

7519 N Allen Rd
Peoria, IL 61614

7519 N Allen Rd Peoria 61614 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Peoria Notre Dame

5105 N Sheridan Rd
Peoria, IL 61614

Illinois Cancer Center

8940 N Wood Sage Rd
Peoria, IL 61615

St. Thomas Catholic Church

904 E Lake Ave
Peoria Heights, IL 61616

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