“There are persons so radiant, so genial, so kind, so pleasure-bearing, that you instinctively feel in their presence that they do you good, whose coming into a room is like the bringing of a lamp there.” —Henry Ward Beecher
Robert Lyles (Tripp) Hembree, III departed this life on January 5, 2022. A Guntersville native, he leaves behind a grieving family and a multitude of loving friends. Tripp’s measure of success in life is not in a list of accomplishments, but rather the impact he had on those that he knew and loved.
Tripp attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa where he was a brother of the Kappa Alpha Order. Upon leaving the university, he worked in his family’s automobile dealership until departing for California shortly before the dealership’s sale in 2019.
Tripp loved music and moved to Los Angeles where he was enrolled in the Musicians Institute College of Contemporary Music in Hollywood. He was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of six and health complications from a foot wound as a result of his illness forced him to discontinue his studies and return home. His hope was to return to California once his foot had healed and he was encouraged by his progress. While he was limited from doing some activities that he enjoyed such as snowboarding and wakeboarding, he was able to enjoy other hobbies including hunting and especially working out at Therapy Plus.
Tripp, who had been vaccinated, was diagnosed with Covid on Monday, January 3, and died the following Wednesday as a result of Covid and diabetes complications. He was 29.
He is survived by his parents Bob and Connie Hembree; his sister Sara Hembree Murphree (Tyler); grandparents Hilda Dimmock, John and Jean Savell; his nephew Benjamin Murphree; his aunts Kay Taylor (Doug), Kim Parker (Jamie), Lisa Drew (Kennon), Julie Turner (Steve) and Nicole McDonough (Chris); his uncle John Savell (Mckayla); his cousins Megan Basilio (Alex), Lauren Boan (Barry), Bérengère Debray (Arnault), Will Drew, Dan Drew, Audrey Hembree, Grace Hembree, Hess Hembree, Jean Yves Mestre (Nathalie), Jennifer Moore (Jason), Jackson Moore, Kendall Moore, James Parker, Britt Parker (Kelly), Beth Patterson (Cole), and John Robert Taylor (Sarah).
He is preceded in death by his grandparents Bob Sr. and Giselle Hembree; his aunt and uncle John and Rhonda Bains; his cousins Martine Mestre and Berkley Turner.
Honorary pallbearers include Will Alves, Alex Baker, Reid Barnett, DJ Brazelton, Justin Brown, Will Drew, Wilson Hallford, Matt Kelley, Davis Samuels, Sam Tidmore and Connor Troilo.
A funeral service for Tripp Hembree will be held at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany at 11:00 am on Friday, January 14.
The family asks that face masks be worn by those who wish to attend. Tripp’s ashes will be interred in the church’s Memorial Garden at the conclusion of the service.
On the eve of the service – Thursday, January 13th – a vigil will be held in the nave of the church beginning at 6:00 pm. The church will be open throughout the night and remain open until 9:00 am for anyone who wishes to come for prayer, meditation, and to offer their respects. Members of Tripp’s church family will be on hand during the vigil.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany’s Memorial Fund or Outreach Ministry at PO Box 116 Guntersville, AL 35976.