It has been nearly 13 years since Fish Springs resident Helen “Cis” Kemp took in two starving stray horses, becoming front-page news in Gardnerville.
Her family and friends will be celebrating her life May 15 after she died March 11, 2021, at the age of 66. The celebration will be at 1904 Nebe Lane in Minden at noon.
Born May 26, 1954, to Clyde and Peggy Pearson in Bishop, Calif., she became the 32nd person to live year around in Mammoth.
She and the family operated Hilton Creek Pack Station, carving several of the roads in the area. She was one of 15 graduates from Lee Vining High School, where she was a cheerleader.
She moved to Fayetteville, Ark., to help her brother run multiple night clubs, her daughter Courtney said. She returned to the Sierra and became a rancher’s wife before moving to southern Douglas County. She moved to Fish Springs, where R-C Staff Writer Sheila Gardner interviewed Kemp for a 2008 story about the horses she dubbed Hope and Courage.
Kemp’s brother spotted the horses staggering along the road on May 20.
“I walked right up and caught them and brought them home,” she said in the May 25, 2008, article.
Cis, Hope and Courage appeared in several issues of The R-C, including a letter publically thanking Cis for her efforts.
Residents and businesses contributed to the care of the horses.
Two months later, a couple moving to Stagecoach adopted Hope and Courage.
Hope and Courage lived out their lives with their adopters, who would take them on short trail rides and walk them through the mountains, Courtney said.
Kemp brought the same level of care to people as a caregiver with certifications in Alzheimer’s and dementia.
She is survived by daughter Courtney, a 2005 Douglas High School graduate, brothers Carl “Buz” and Clyde “Kit” Pearson, niece Leslie Pearson (Steve Williams) and nephew Larry Williams.