Robert Nicholas Kempen, 61, Catawba, died at his home on Monday, January 7. He was born in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, on June 11, 1951, the son of Clarence “Kelly” and Mary (Schultz) Kempen. He was a 1969 graduate of the Phillips High School, and a graduate of Northcentral Technical College in Wausau where he received a degree in Electronics Repair. He was married to Jean Dahler on May 22, 2004, in St. Patrick Catholic Church in Phillips. He worked as a TV repairman in Rice Lake and Eau Claire, operated a juke box and arcade business for 11 years, and for the past 20 years was employed by Blount/Caterpillar Forest Products of Prentice. He was an active member of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church of Catawba, a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 2963, a 17 year member of the Catawba Fire Department where he served as Chief for 2 years, served as the Treasurer of the Catawba/Harmony Fire Department for 3 years, was a Charter Member of the Jump River Historical Society, and served as a Supervisor of the Catawba Town Board for 6 years. In his free time he enjoyed making maple syrup, fishing, hunting, trap shooting, and designed and built his log dream home.
He is survived by his wife, Jean; by two step-children, Jeremy (Amanda) Petrich, Elk River, MN, and Julie (Josh) Sipola, St. Joseph, MN; by three grandchildren, Hunter, Tanner, and Julia; and by three brothers, Dennis (Becky), Kennan, Thomas (Lorraine), Eau Claire, and Harold (Cindy), Eau Claire. He is preceded in death by his parents.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, January 12, at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Catawba with Father Gerald Hagen celebrating the Funeral Mass. Internment will be in the Kennan Cemetery. Friends may call at the church after 4:30 P.M. on Friday evening and on Saturday from 9:30 A.M. until the time of services. The Parish Wake Service will be held at the church at 7:00 P.M. on Friday Evening with Deacon James Celba officiating.
The Heindl Funeral Home in Phillips is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.