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John Paul  Kemper
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Obituary for John Paul Kemper

John Paul Kemper was called to Heaven in the early morning of Friday, February 23, 2018, after a brief stay in the Providence Hospice Center, Waco, Texas. Paul was two days shy of his 81st birthday. A celebration of his life will be 4:30 pm, Tuesday, February 27, at Central Presbyterian Church, Woodway. The Rev. David Rodgers will be officiating. Paul’s daughter and granddaughter will speak, and a dear family friend will lead in hymns and praise music. All are welcome.

Paul was born in Richmond, Virginia to Claude L. Kemper and Eloise Bowers Kemper on February 25, 1937. Paul was their second child, the middle of three, with an older sister and a younger brother.
Due to his father’s position with American mining in South America, Paul spent the first 11 years of his life in Bolivia. His days were filled with playing soccer until dark, tagging along with his father into the mines, and aggravating his big sister.
The Kemper family then moved back to the USA and settled in Short Hills, New Jersey. Paul was active in football, basketball, and track, named all-region and all-state in several sports. He was known for his sense of humor, friendship, and leadership. He graduated from Millburn High, Millburn, New Jersey.

Paul received his undergraduate degree, a Bachelor’s of Science, from Loyola School of Mines (now known as Missouri S&T), studying Mining and Metallurgical Engineering. He played football for the university for a time, and was active in various clubs. Paul was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and later served as president, all while taking 21 college hours. After graduation, Paul served in the United States Army Reserve Command as a Lieutenant, stationed in Germany. He was offered a pro contract with the Baltimore Colts, but turned it down, as it wasn’t the path he wanted to take in life.

Paul worked for ASARCO, American Smelting and Refining Company, for 34 years. He worked at the plants in Selby, 1963-1967; Glover, 1967-1970; Baltimore, 1970-1974; and Amarillo, 1974-1997.

While working in Maryland, he met Sandi Hall. They fell in love and were married on December 19, 1971, and had a wonderful life together, celebrating nearly 46 years before her passing in August 2017.

Paul and his family were transferred to Amarillo, Texas where he became the Assistant Manager of Operations at the ASARCO Amarillo Copper Refinery. He worked long, hard hours to make a great life for his wife and daughter. As his daughter grew older, he was known for taking the holiday shifts so that his men could be home with their young families. He spoke at conferences regarding refining, including presenting his work overseas. He was a member of Leadership Amarillo, where he volunteered to better the community.
In his 30’s, Paul dedicated his life to Jesus. He became active at First Presbyterian Church in Amarillo, including serving as a Deacon, teaching youth Sunday School, chaperoning for the youth summer Presbyterian camp at Trinity University in San Antonio, attending various Bible Studies, and serving on multiple committees. He and Sandi enjoyed serving the church and the Lord together, and were eager each summer for their annual trip to the Navigators retreat in Colorado Springs.

When Paul retired from ASARCO, he and Sandi moved to Sun City in Georgetown, Texas. Paul thoroughly enjoyed his retirement, played golf, took day trips with new friends, and enjoyed the fine arts available in Austin. Paul and Sandi became active members of First Presbyterian Church of Georgetown, serving as a Deacon, volunteering at The Caring Place, and spending time with his beloved granddaughter on the weekends, holidays, and during the summer.

In order to be closer to their daughter and granddaughter, Paul and Sandi then moved to Waco, Texas. Paul served as an Elder at Central Presbyterian Church and was instrumental in the renovation of the church’s current location in Woodway. He took the lead regarding the pipe organ for the church, spending countless hours in making sure this instrument would be properly in place for generations of worshipers. He never missed a performance or an appearance of his granddaughter in her school and social activities as she grew up, even often traveling out-of-town to support her. Later, Paul and Sandi eventually moved their church membership to First Baptist Woodway. Paul loved worshipping at First Woodway, especially the praise music, and made good friends in his new church home.

Paul was hilarious! He loved giving someone a hard time while keeping a straight face. He was especially quick-witted, had a brilliant mind, and a kind and generous heart. He would sacrifice his time and money in order that someone else would benefit. He would get money into the hands of those who needed it, and made donations quietly to help others. He was a voracious reader, completing several books a week, and was a regular at the Waco public libraries. He loved dogs. He did the daily newspaper crossword puzzle, always in ink. He volunteered in the emergency room at Providence Hospital on the weekends. He attended Bible Study Fellowship. He was an avid sports fan of a variety of sports. He supported Lady Bears Basketball, having season tickets for years, traveling out-of-town to games, learning all the cheers, and keeping up with every stat and recruiting class. He and Sandi travelled the globe, including Russia, the United Kingdom, China, Canada, various Caribbean Islands, Germany, Italy, France, the Panama Canal, Hawaii, Alaska, South America, Turkey, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, and many other destinations.

The last years of his life, he gave up all his volunteer work and his free time to care for his wife Sandi through the challenges of her Alzheimer’s Disease.

He was a gentleman, a good man, and an excellent leader for his family. He loved his family with all he had. He made them laugh, and left them a legacy of love, loyalty, and security.

Paul was a Christian, and because of this assurance he is with Jesus now, free from pain, no longer limited, and filled with new eternal life. John 14:1-4.

Paul is survived by his daughter, Diane Kemper Williams, Waco; a granddaughter, Morgan Williams Dietrick, and her husband, Ethan Dietrick, Fayetteville, Arkansas; his sister, Claudette Kemper Columbus; nieces and nephews, and family members and friends throughout the country. His younger brother, Benjamin Kemper, precedes him in death.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Paws for Veterans.
The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our “Tribute Wall” at

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4:30 PM
Central Presbyterian Church

1226 Washington Ave.
Woodway,, TX 76701


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