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Loreta Gay (Kemper) Suarez

August 22, 1914 ~ May 10, 2018 (age 103)

Loreta Gay Kemper Suarez of Morgantown WV passed away Thursday, May 10, 2018, surrounded by family at River Oaks Nursing Facility in Clarksburg, following a sudden decline in health. Loreta was born at Newberne, Gilmer County, West Virginia, on August 22, 1914, to the late Willie Nay and Flora (Ellyson) Kemper. She had a long and healthy life.

In addition to her parents, Loreta was preceded in death by her sister Eva Mae Kemper Goff (Ed) and brothers Claude Ray Kemper (Ethel) and George Day Kemper (Louise). Also preceding her were nephews Russell Kemper and Willis Kemper, nieces Katherine Loreta Goff Hall and Joanne Fitzgerald Ross, and grand-niece Rebecca Pryor Kunz.

Loreta is survived by three daughters: Sharon Kemper Suarez (Alan Feinberg) of Frederick, MD; Karen Loreta Suarez Hicks (Del) of Cataula, GA; and Ysabel Flora Suarez (Tom Anderson) of Frederick, MD. Loreta is also survived by seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren: Amanda Loreta Foster of Frederick MD and son Daniel Adams-Foster; Jason R. Foster (Tanza) of Aylett VA and children Cameron, Jazmine, and Zaaron; Gabe Green (Karla) of Orlando FL and children Shaylee, Gabelique, Kelly and Turner; Amy N. Green Davidson (Jimmy) of Waverly Hall GA and son Kyle; Susanne Korolevich Hayes (Joe) of Frederick MD and daughter Madison; Lauren N. Korolevich Longshore (Bryan) of Alexandria VA and son Connor; and Candice Korolevich (Joseph Geisbert) of Frederick MD and children Brayden and Briana.

Surviving are beloved nieces and nephews: Carolyn Goff Pryor McDonnell (Patrick) of Parkersburg WV, Marvin Goff (Sylvia) of Newberne WV, Margaret Goff of Mechanicsburg PA, Patricia Goff Erdman (David) of St. Pete Beach FL, Ronald N. Kemper (Lynne) of Coral Gables FL and Newberne WV, George David Kemper (Florence) of Newberne WV, Joseph Kemper (Kathy) of Newberne WV, Larry Kemper (Betty) of Maxwelton WV, Jane Fitzgerald Bladen (Ron) of MI, Diane Suarez Conti (Lou) of CO, Linda Suarez Salfia (Jim) of NC, Josephine Suarez Greer (Kim) of VA, Rick Suarez (Sondra) of NC and Joseph (Tammy) Suarez of WV. Her grandnieces and grandnephews are too numerous to mention here, but are greatly loved, nonetheless.

Loreta attended Glenville State College and West Virginia University, majoring in elementary education. She began her career teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in the quiet hills of Gilmer County WV. In 1944, Loreta enlisted in the USMC and was honorably discharged as a Corporal in 1946. She served in the Motor Pool at USMC Base Quantico, and she always remembered the joy and celebration at war's end. She remembered hearing the news, getting into her Jeep, and driving up and down the streets of Quantico shouting “It’s over!  The war is over!”  Loreta enjoyed the camaraderie among the Women Marines, Morning and Evening Colors, and the Marine Band. 

After her girls were in school, Loreta worked for the Bureau of the Census until she retired. She loved WVU Mountaineer football, gardening, playing cards, and both the Morgantown Senior Center and the BOPARC Senior Recreation Center. Over the years, she participated in the String of Pearls dance troupe, the Kitchenaire Band, and many other senior trips and programs. She especially loved to play cards and dominoes with her friends at the BOPARC Senior Center, and she played to win.

Loreta was known locally as a gifted painter, and her favorite subjects were always the covered bridges, farmhouses, and flowers of West Virginia. She loved to swim and dance, and she did a little of each at her 100th birthday celebration at Cooper’s Rock in 2014. She credited her longevity to enjoying her big extended family, knowing how to make friends, staying active, eating plenty of vegetables, and being fortunate enough to have good genes.

The family especially thanks her dear friend Pat Moore and her neighbors Kim Allen and Larry Calamine for the kindness and support they provided to Loreta in recent years.

At Loreta’s request, there will be no funeral or burial of cremains. Instead, a celebration of life will be held during the summer to dedicate the memorial marker to be placed near the graves of her family in the Horn Creek Baptist Cemetery in Cox’s Mills. In lieu of flowers, the family urges donations be made in her name to a favorite charity.

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