Lilian Kemph

Published 12:47 pm Friday, January 2, 2009

Lilian was a native of Tryon, but lived in many states before settling on Pine Island with her husband Walter in 1979. &bsp;

Immediately upon her arrival on Pine Island, Lilian became an active member of the community.&bsp; While working for the Dr. Ella Piper Center she became aware of the lack of services for the elderly and disabled.

With her friend Betty Elmquist, former editor of the &dquo;Pine Island Eagle,&dquo; she established a non-profit organization to meet the specific needs of the island and Matlacha, Fla., including transportation for medical appointments or shopping, daily contact with the home-bound, and respite for caregivers. FISH (Fellow Islanders Sending Help) was formally established in Jan. 1987 as a 501.c.3 charitable organization. FISH now includes the Basket Brigade projects, emergency financial services and loan of medical mobility equipment.

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Lilian had a master&squo;s degree in education and served school systems in North Carolina, Arizona and Hawaii during her earlier years. For 30 years she was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary&squo; Girls State Committee. Lilian loved camping, fishing, swimming and archery.

She was a crafts woman who enjoyed copper engraving, wood carving, painting, and driftwood art. Lilian was also an expert in the identification of seashells, particularly those of prehistoric eras.

Lilian is survived by her husband Walter, daughter Cindy Walker of Tryon, stepson Tim Kemph of Kansas, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Her daughter Janet predeceased her in 1993.

It was Lilian&squo;s wish to have no formal ceremony. However, for those who wish to honor her memory, donations may be sent to Big Brothers, Big Sisters, 301 North Trade Street, Tryon N.C. 28782.