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May 8, 2013

Norman resident inducted in Chickasaw Hall of Fame

NORMAN — Norman resident Betty Ruth Kemp was among five persons inducted into the 2013 Chickasaw Hall of Fame Tuesday night at Riverwind.

Established in 1987, the Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame honors Chickasaws who have made significant contributions to Chickasaw people or the Native American community.

The 2013 Chickasaw Hall of Fame inductees were Kemp, Colbert Latimer “Bud” Baker, of Marco Island, Fla.; Gene “Nashoba” Thompson, of Austin, Texas; Thomas Benjamin Thompson Sr.; and Benson Pikey.

Thompson and Pikey were inducted posthumously.

Gov. Bill Anoatubby participated in the 2013 induction ceremonies.

“It is our privilege to honor these individuals who have made significant contributions to the Chickasaw Nation and the larger community,” Gov. Anoatubby said. “Their commitment to protecting tribal history, promoting education, and serving others epitomizes the spirit and dedication of the Chickasaw people.”

Kemp has dedicated her life and career to protecting and preserving ancient archives and serving as a modern day Chickasaw conduit between the Southeastern homelands and Oklahoma. She was born in 1930 near Tishomingo and began her career in 1952 as an extra loan librarian with the University of Texas Library. She later worked as the librarian at Dallas Public Library and lead manager for two new branches from 1956 to 1964. After receiving her masters degree, she was appointed director of Cherokee Regional Library, a three-county regional library with headquarters in Lafayette, Walker County, Ga.

Kemp has served on various boards and has been involved with many organizations including: Purcell Community Council, secretary of Oklahoma City Senior Group, president of the American Indian Cultural Society – 2001, League of Women Voters, American Association of University Women – John J. Hart Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy – Hugh Quinn Chapter, Daughters of the American Colonists and Dames of the Court of Honor.

She has held many positions in the American Library Association and remains a member today. She is a member of United Methodist Church.

She graduated from Norman High School and earned a bachelors degree in library science from the University of Oklahoma in 1952, and a masters degree from Florida State University in 1965.

Kemp has lived in Norman since 1993 and participates in many Chickasaw activities and has taught many cultural craft classes.

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