Select Page
Home » Campus News Latest » Obituaries » Harry Hempy, III ’67

On Thursday July 14, 2022, a beautiful Colorado summer day, Harry O Hempy, of Jamestown and Boulder unexpectedly walked out of this world and into the next. Chum, as he was known to his family and childhood friends, was born in Georgia but grew up in Kansas City MO, big brother to 3 siblings. He graduated from Park Hill SH (63), Antioch College (67) and earned a Masters in Math from Northwestern University (69). Harry’s professional life began in 1968 when he joined IBM in Poughkeepsie, NY as a junior programmer and his career with IBM spanned more than 4 decades. From New York to Boulder to Tucson and back to Boulder, Harry served in various capacities receiving many awards and commendations along the way, even co-writing several patents as well. Personal highlights of his time with IBM include a variety of extended assignments including stints in Japan, England, Germany, San Diego and Northern California. While his career was one of an analyst, Harry relished his life as an activist. He was raised in a family committed to civic engagement. His time at Antioch, the turmoil of the late 60’s, growing opposition to US involvement in Vietnam and the Kent State Massacre, solidified for Harry his responsibility as a citizen. He gave tirelessly of himself in his efforts to stand up for the little guy. A lifelong Democrat, he served on the AZ Dems State Committee while in Tucson, as well as had involvement in the Tucson Unified School District. In Colorado, for many years he was a member of the Boulder County Dems and served as a lobbyist testifying on behalf of the League of Women Voters at the Capitol in Denver. It was around 2012 that his distaste for the 2-party system solidified and he left the Democratic Party, joined the Greens, and ran a successful campaign for Governor of Colorado. And by successful, that doesn’t mean he won, but that he held his own, campaigned hard, debated, brought legitimate discourse to the election and actually “got some votes!” He is known for his activism and using his voice to speak out against the many societal inequities that exist in our world. He served in countless volunteer capacities in Boulder County through the years. Besides just being an all around nice guy, Harry was a woodworker, a mighty athlete and fierce competitor. He loved sailing his little Sunfish back in the day and he had his time dominating the racquetball court. He coached and played softball and kickball. He loved to golf. In recent years he took up and excelled at pickleball. He was a heck of a bridge player, an intense puzzle aficionado and a chess champion as well. He loved the Colorado mountains and took pride in summiting Buchanan Pass to celebrate his 70th birthday. Harry leaves behind his life co-adventurer, his wife Sally Hempy of 44 years. Harry met Sally in 1976 through their sons’ Cub Scouts in Boulder. They quickly became inseparable, married in 78, and have been side by side together since. After returning to Boulder in 1995, they built their beloved ‘Mountain Home’ in the Bar K Ranch and became fixtures in Jamestown. They could often be found supporting the BarK HOA, JAM, and anything bolstering the Merc and Jamestown in general. They lived up the hill for nearly 30 years, creating forever family memories. Contrary to their desires, Harry and Sally were forced to move to Boulder in 2021 as the realities of aging and mountain living collided. Besides his gal Sal, he is survived by his children Ted and David (Janine) Hempy of Kentucky, Gene(Kelly) Crout of Arvada, and Joan Knudson of Boulder. He was Granddad/Poppa Harry to 10 grands & 1 great grandchild: In KY, Cory Gray; Shanda, Tank and Chance Hempy & Oscar and Kindle Hempy. In CO, Brianna DeBoer, Jordan Crout, Dana Knudson and Carly Sargent-Knudson plus little Rune SK, making Harry truly Great. In addition he leaves behind his siblings Jane(John) Martin, Ted(Anita) Hempy, Anne Harness, his many nieces and nephews, and other extended family members. He is also survived by close family friends Kathleen, Hailey and Mackenzie Calcagno. Beyond his family, Harry will be missed by the many pickleball players, bridge players and community activists who have had the pleasure of knowing him. The family would like to give special thanks to all the first responders and citizens who helped with his abrupt passing.

John Korty '59