Kathleen Elizabeth Hemphill

June 30, 1939 - October 4, 2023
Knit

Kathleen Elizabeth Hemphill

Kathleen (Kennedy) Hemphill was born on June 30th, 1939, to Marie Adelaide (Driscoll) Kennedy and Phillip Henry Kennedy in Bell, CA. As a child growing up in Monrovia CA, her family fostered a love of music through dance and song, and as a young adult she collected music from her favorite artists including Johnny Mathis, Louis Prima, and Elvis to name a few. She loved providing the soundtrack for get-togethers with her friends with her extensive record collection and top-of-the-line vinyl player. After graduating from Pomona Catholic School in 1957, Kathleen worked as a bank teller at Home Savings & Loan in Arcadia, CA. Shortly after, Kathleen married her love, Donald James, on April 30th, 1960, in Monrovia, CA. Donald and Kathleen established a family of their own in West Covina, Ca, then packed up the station wagon and settled in Sacramento in the early 70’s. There, Kathleen spent over 35 years working in the San Juan Unified School District’s Early Childhood Education program, where she started as a classroom aide and quickly made herself an indispensable member of their team. The relationships she formed with her coworkers at ECE extended far beyond the time and scope of her employment, and she held those friendships close until her last days. Kathleen was an avid knitter, creating beautiful sweaters for her children, and intricate knitted blankets to her growing family. We, as a family cherish these legacies. She enjoyed the times her children would bring their own friends over to the house, and no one ever left her house hungry. She supported her children in all of their endeavors, scorekeeping for Little League games, room mother for school classrooms, always providing a few dozen cupcakes or chocolate chip cookies without much notice, and hauling a car load of kids around to make it to the next game. She was that mom you would see cheering the loudest in the stands at her children’s sporting events, often breaking the blood vessels in her hands from clapping so forcefully, then turn around and do it all again the next weekend. She was very committed to sending greeting cards to family and friends for birthdays and anniversaries, every week visiting the greeting card section at the local store to stock up for future events. In her later years she found joy in family gatherings, spending time with her grandchildren, getting lunch with her girlfriends, and watching her beloved San Francisco Giants. Kathleen truly loved her grandchildren more than anything in the world. She did her best to not miss a single baseball game or soccer match for any of her grandkids (and there were a lot of them!). Kathleen, a three-time breast cancer survivor, was preceded in death by her parents and siblings Patrick, Valarie, and Terence . Kathleen is survived by her husband Donald, of 63 years, her brother Thomas, as well as her three children: Patrick, Loretta and Michael. She leaves behind seven beloved grandchildren: Nicholas, Zane, Cali, Garrett, Zakary, Amanda, and William, one great grandchild, Thaden, and was eagerly awaiting the birth of her second great grandchild Harper Shae. We know she is experiencing a joyful reunion in Heaven with all of her loved ones who have passed on before her. Cheers to you Mom!