Jon Kempken, Palm Desert, CA/Darien, WI (1942-2015)

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October 4, 2015

August 24, 1942 - September 16, 2015

Jon Kempken, 73, born on Aug. 24, 1942, in Burlington, WI, to parents, Bernie and Ruth Kempken, met our Heavenly Father on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, after a brief struggle with lung cancer. After World War II, Bernie and Ruth moved to Darien, WI, where Jon lived until graduating from Delavan-Darien High School in 1961. After graduation, Jon enlisted in the Air Force with high school friends, Irv Beier and Ed Wincapaw, and was stationed at Paine AFB in Everett, WA, from 1961-1967, where he met Mickey Iverson, the love of his life, and where they eventually settled, worked and began raising their family. They were members of St. Mary Magdalen Parish for many years before relocating to Palm Desert, CA. His career with Western Gear at the Everett Waterfront had him traveling the world repairing oil rigs and training others in heavy duty machinery. As the company changed ownership over the years, he remained dedicated and never left or retired. He continued working at the Long Beach, CA, office of Control Flow/Wes Tech of Houston, TX, for 48 years until he passed away.

Jon enjoyed hot rods, going to NASCAR races and local car shows with his sons. He was a part time Seattle Seahawks fan and a full time Green Bay Packers fan to the end. Although Jon traveled extensively, he never forgot his roots, attending many class reunions, keeping in touch with local friends and news. He was a supportive family man and life partner to his wife, a proud father and a doting grandfather, who lived a happy life filled with love and laughter.

Jon is survived by his wife of 52 years, Mickey Kempken; sons: Kurt Kempken and Tom Kempken, both of Palm Desert, and Dan (Angi) Kempken of Indio, CA; two daughters, Kathy Kempken of Palm Desert, and Christine Kempken of Oceanside, CA; five beloved grandchildren: Marcus, Christopher, Nicole, Jessica and Keira Rose; a brother Michael (Barbara) Kempken of Janesville, WI; and cousins: Gene (Ollie) Kempken of Tomahawk, WI, Susan (Mark) Heckel of McFarland, WI, and Lynn Schroeder (Paul) of Wind Lake, WI. Jon is also survived by close friends, Dick Alter formerly of Darien, now Lake Geneva, WI, and Helene Hurdis of Darien. He was preceded in death by his parents, Bernie and Ruth Kempken; brother, Paul Kempken; sister-in-law, Karen Kempken; a niece; and two nephews.


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