Kathryn Louise (Kemp) Turpin
1927-2022
Eldon, MO: Kathryn Louise (Kemp) Turpin, 94, Eldon, MO (formerly of Bethany, MO) passed
away Tuesday, July 12, 2022, following a lengthy illness.
Kathryn was born on the Fairgrounds in Bethany, Missouri on December 26, 1927, the
daughter of John T. and Zelma Beatrice (King) Kemp. The extended family was large with sisters,
aunts, uncles, and cousins galore. Many played a part in Kathryn’s life because they traveled
together on the family carnival, Kemp and Turpin United shows.
On October 10, 1945, she married John R. Turpin. He preceded her in death on October 20,
1997.
Kathryn, also known to many as the “Carnival Queen,” with her bright smile and red hair,
was the matriarch of a family that had been associated with the fair from the very beginning.
She got her start on the midway when she helped her father at his photo booth, and eventually,
she and her mother ran a popcorn stand. Though it was a small family carnival, it went to towns
in Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa where people looked forward to spending the money they had
saved all year long for the entertainment of the Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, scrambler, tubs
of fun, along with a popcorn wagon that had the best candied apples, sno-cones, and cotton
candy. She and her husband, John Turpin, frequently traveled to other events around the
region including the Sydney Rodeo and the Gallatin Chautauqua. At one time, Kathryn and John
operated the Kemp and Turpin Carnival which frequently set up on the town square. Since
1959, Kathryn’s popcorn stand always had the best spot on the midway where she served
generations of fairgoers on their way to the grandstand.
She had resided at Rock Island Village in Eldon, MO since October of 2019. She made lots of
friends and never missed having her hair done every week (still red!). She also enjoyed playing
Bingo almost every day of the week where she frequently won!
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, LaVaughn
Simpson and Barbara Cooper and her brother, Vernon Kemp.
Kathryn is survived by her children, Monica Pinkowski, Plantation, FL, Cinda Carter, Bethany,
MO, Bruce Turpin, Trimble, MO, and Johnny Bob Turpin, Osage Beach, MO; five grandchildren
and several great grandchildren.
Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 30 at Roberson Funeral Home,
Bethany, MO. Burial will follow in Miriam Cemetery, Bethany, MO. A celebration of Kathryn’s
life and visitation will be held from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. Memorials may
be made to the Women’s Eagles Lodge #2534, Harrison County Genealogical Society and/or the
Daughters of the American Revolution in care of Roberson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 46, Bethany,
MO 64424. Online condolences may be left at www.robersonfuneralhome.com

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