McKENZIE (June 28) — Ramona Mae Kemp Washburn, 88, former publisher of the Dresden Enterprise and The McKenzie Banner, died Monday 28, 2021, at her home.
Washburn was born on October 1, 1932, to James Shobe Kemp and Lillie Mae Chapman Kemp, the eldest of five children. She was born in Weakley County and attended Henry School. She later earned her GED and attended the area state vocational school majoring in office occupations.
She married James L. Washburn in 1948. They attended Caledonia Baptist Church and later First Baptist Church in McKenzie, where she was a member until her death.
Washburn held a variety of jobs over the years, including substitute teacher and seamstress. She will best be remembered as an owner and publisher of The McKenzie Banner and the Dresden Enterprise. One son, Joel, is the current publisher of Tri-County Publishing. A second son, Jeff, serves as the City of Dresden mayor.
With the passing of her husband in 1985, Washburn became the majority owner of Tri-County Publishing, Inc. She served as publisher of both The McKenzie Banner and the Dresden Enterprise until April 2015.
Along with serving as publisher and co-owner with her sons, she worked as a sales representative for Tri-County Publishing and secretary of API. She was a charter member of the McKenzie Jaycettes, serving as secretary, president, state director and was named Woman of the Year. She was president of the McKenzie PTA, secretary-treasurer of the Carroll County PTA, president of the Carroll County Democrat Women, member of the Democrat Executive Committee and served on the Carroll County Election Commission.
She was a member of the Homecoming ‘86 steering committee, director of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce serving as Membership chairwoman, Cub Scout den mother, member of the Carroll County Voc-Tech School Committee, McKenzie Voc-Tech School Advisory Committee and a member of the VFW Post 4939 Auxiliary.
Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by one brother, Jimmy Fayne Kemp, and one sister, Bonnette Wiles.
Washburn is survived by two sons, Jeffery (Jennifer) and Joel (Teresa) Washburn; four grandchildren Jeremy (Kim) Washburn, Amanda (Kent) Guthrie, Brittany (Jason) Martin and James (Audrea) Washburn; two step-grandchildren Britne Mansfield and Chris Butts; and 13 great-grandchildren: Audrie, Anna Grace, Addison, Amy Kate, Alivia, Bella, Bailee, Lynlee, Conner, Carson, Makenzee, Charles James “C.J.” and Savannah Rose along with two brothers, Jerry and John Kemp.
Funeral services are Friday, July 2, at 11 a.m. at Brummitt-McKenzie Funeral Home. The family will receive friends for visitation on Thursday, July 1 from 5-8 p.m. and Friday, July 2 from 10 a.m. until the time of service at Brummit-McKenzie Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Carroll Memorial Gardens. Pallbearers are Jeremy Washburn, James R. Washburn, Jason Martin, Chris Butts, Wayford Washburn Jr. and Kent Guthrie.