Obituary: Judith Budding Kemp
Judy Kemp, a 25-year resident of Darien, CT died suddenly Saturday, Aug. 31 at her home in Darien. Born in Quincy, MA in 1945, she and her husband, Frank, were active volunteers in their community and church.
Graduating from Saint Mary’s Girls’ School in Peekskill, Judy earned a BA in History from Connecticut College, studied psychology at UCLA and completed her MA in Psychology in 1977 at the New School for Social Research. Early in her career, she prepared text for book covers and developed and edited an internal newspaper for Harper and Row Publishers. In her subsequent career in human resources, she was Personnel Director for Condé Nast Publications, Inc. (1977-1986; Senior Vice President, Human Resources Director for D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Inc. (1987-1996); and Senior Vice President, Personnel Director, at Foote Cone and Belding, 1996 until her retirement in 2001.
Her volunteer activities centered on Saint Luke’s Parish and Person-to-Person, in Darien. For Saint Luke’s she was Chair of the Personnel Committee and a Lay Eucharistic Minister. She trained and served as a Stephen Minister and was Chair and Coordinator of the St. Francis Guild (The Lay Weeders). She was a member of several search committees for parish staff, a member of St. Luke’s Team for Homefront/Americares programs, a member of the Columbarium Committee, a mentor of candidates for Confirmation, a member of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, the Stewardship Committee, and an Usher.
At Person-to-Person Judy oversaw the Eviction Prevention Program, which directs special funds to families on the verge of losing their housing because of financial difficulties. She was the liaison between the client and the landlord, earning the trust of both, while working to develop an agreement to keep matters out of court, the client in safe housing, and the landlord’s interests protected. As a result of her efforts, the landlords developed a trust in Person-to-Person as an intermediary, and the clients received both straight forward, and compassionate assistance during stressful and critical times in securing safe housing for themselves and their children.
She also was a volunteer and strong supporter of Literacy Volunteers of America, teaching English as a second language. She established long-standing relationships with her students.
She and Frank received the 2004 Person to Person “Volunteers of the Year” award sponsored by the Stamford Advocate.
Judy enjoyed cooking adventurous, healthy and ambitious meals. At home, her collection of recipes, tips and techniques was only surpassed by the introduction of the internet – her set of file cards replaced reluctantly by the web’s search engines. She was a passionate gardener, creating beautiful landscapes around her home.
With her husband, she relished summer sailboat cruises along Long Island Sound to Block Island and the Vineyard – enjoying quiet anchorages, moon rises over saltmarshes, and the occasional stops in port for provisions. Later, she had a steady hand on the tiller of their Catboat, providing a good eye for the wind, and the trim of the sail. She was the driving force for seventeen years of Boat/Camp gatherings, which provided hundreds of Person-to-Person Campership students a day on the water with local boaters.
Judy served on the Board of the Darien Art Center. She was Co-Chair of the annual Art Show and Sale, and assisted with the presentation of many theatrical productions. With a strong musical background, she enjoyed playing a range of music for the organ and the piano – with affection for show tunes as well as traditional church hymns. Her love for certain hymns stemmed from her assignment as summer-time organist at her father’s church. She enjoyed the opera as well as the local community theatre.
She is survived by her beloved husband of 44 years, Frank, her brother David Walter Budding, and sister-in-law Martha Mirly Budding, her niece Lauren Budding and her husband Pieter A. Cohen, her nephew Tony Budding and his wife Jamie, their children, and many ‘honorary’ nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her parents, the Reverend John Arthur Budding and Isabel Nickerson Budding.
A memorial service for family and friends will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 5 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1848 Post Road in Darien. A reception will follow at the church.
Memorial donations may be made in her name to Person-to-Person, 1864 Post Road, P.O. Box 3128 Darien, CT 06820. For online condolences and directions, visit www.lawrencefuneralhome.com