Louis O. Kemp

Louis O. Kemp, 84, of Harpers Ferry, Iowa, died Wednesday, January 14, 2015, at Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon, Iowa. 

Funeral services was held at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 17, at St. Ann’s - St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Harpers Ferry with The Rev. John Moser officiating.  Visitation, including a scripture service, was conducted from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday, January 16, at the church in Harpers Ferry.  

     Louis Otto Kemp was born October 18, 1930, in Springfield, Brown County, Minnesota, the son of Louis O. and Anna (Gubrud) Kemp. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Raphael Catholic Church in Springfield, where he also attended grade school. Lou graduated from Springfield High School and continued his education at Mankato State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in arts and economics. He also studied pharmacy for one and a half years in Brookings, S.D.  Lou was drafted into the U.S. Army in February 1952, and served in Okinawa during the Korean Conflict. He was discharged as a corporal in January 1954, and upon returning home, Lou worked at Sward/Kemp Drugstore in Springfield for several years. On October 25, 1958, Lou married Janice Paullus at St. Raphael Catholic Church in Springfield.

     In 1960, Lou began working for JC Penney in Richfield, as a department manager; he then moved with JC Penney in 1962 to Dubuque, Iowa. He transferred again in 1965 to Waukon, Iowa, as a store manager. Lou made several career changes during the 1970s and 80s; he opened Kemp’s Shoes in Waukon, as well as the Sears Catalog Outlet. Eventually he became a district manager for the Iowa Beer and Liquor Control Department. In 1988, he became the auditor and compliance officer for the liquor department until his retirement in 1995.

     Lou has always been an active member of the community. He was a member of the Waukon Jaycees, served as president of the Chamber of Commerce, and was a member of the American Legion in both Waukon and Harpers Ferry, Iowa. He also was a member and past president of the Harpers Ferry Boosters, and was a member of St. Ann – St. Joseph Catholic Church in Harpers Ferry.

     Lou’s most favorite times were spent with his sons and their families. In his youth he loved pheasant hunting, a passion he shared with his sons through the 1970s. He was also an avid fisherman, taking the family on a dozen annual fishing trips to Leech Lake in northern Minnesota. For the past twenty years, Lou could be found most any day in the backwaters of the Mississippi or tied to the wall below the locks, jigging for walleyes.  

     Lou is survived by his wife, Janice, of Harpers Ferry; his sons, Steve (Donna) Kemp of La Crosse, Wis., Tom (Judy) Kemp of Decorah, Iowa, and Mark (Dawn) Kemp of Longmont, Colo.; grandchildren: Joshua (Angela) Kemp of Casper, Wy., Keith Kemp of Madison, Wis., Ian (Rachel) Kemp of Decorah, Jordan (Richard Jones) Kemp of Grayslake, Ill., and Max Kemp of Decorah; great-granddaughter, Maci Kemp of Decorah; two sisters: Mary Ann Spaeth of Bloomington, and Patricia Solyntjes of Ellsworth, Wis.; and many nieces and nephews whom he also loved dearly.

     He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Michael.

    Martin Funeral Home in Waukon, Iowa, was entrusted with funeral arrangements. Online condolences may be left at www.martinfunerals.com.

Springfield Advance-Press

13 S. Marshall Avenue PO Box 78 Springfield, MN 56087