David Kempker ’54

It is with sadness and joy that we announce the peaceful passing of David LeRoy Kempker on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.

He was a wonderful brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend. Wherever he went, he brought a smile and a word of advice or encouragement.

Dave grew up in Holland, and attended the Holland Public Schools, where he excelled at sports. Upon graduation, he spent a year at the University of Michigan where he played on the freshman football team. He transferred to Hope College, where he completed his degree in Education while playing football, basketball and baseball for the Flying Dutchman. Upon graduation, he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean war. He taught and counseled students at Lowell, Hudsonville and Holland High. His great love was coaching high school football, which he did for 23 years; the last 17 years as head coach of Holland High. During this time, he influenced countless young people with his positive demeanor.

Dave had many passions in life. He was an avid golfer and member of the Holland Country Club for 50 years. He had many, many golf buddies for most of his life and played his last rounds at the age of 86 with these friends. He loved Beaver Island, where he had a cottage and spent much of the summer months fishing, swimming, and enjoying life with his family and friends. The last 20 years of his life, he and Mary traveled the globe and set foot on every continent but Antartica.

Dave is survived by Mary, his loving wife of 58 years; his children David and Karen Kempker, Daniel and Karen Kempker, and Susan and Peter Westrate; and his 10 grandchildren, Elizabeth, Katherine and Alexandra Kempker; Hannah, Haley and Joshua Kempker; Tanner and Davis Bryant; and Gabrielle and Hannah Westrate; and his brother Jack and Ann Kempker of Lowell, Michigan.

Visitation will be held on Friday, February 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Langeland- Sterenberg Funeral Home; 315 E. 16th St., Holland, Michigan and Saturday, February 24 at Calvary Reformed Church; 995 E. 8th Streetin Holland, Michigan from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.with funeral services immediately following. Memorial contributions may be given to the Kempker Family scholarship at Hope College.

His was a life well-lived. He will be sorely missed but joyfully remembered.

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