ANOKA, Minn. | L. Marie (Weaver) Kemper, 97, formerly of St. Anthony, passed away to her Heavenly Home on Jan. 26, 2019.
Born at home on a farm near Wessington, SD, to Bertha & Orvil Weaver. Marie grew up in the Depression-era or Dirty '30s riding horses bareback to herd cattle, do farm chores and help with younger siblings. Marie attended a one-room country school "The Evans School."
After graduation from St. Laurence High School, Marie attended nursing training for a full three years at St. Mary's Hospital in Pierre, SD. Upon graduation, passing her RN exam and short stints of work in Fort Thompson and Pontiac, MI, with her friend, Marcella Ryan, it was off to WWII and the South Pacific as an Army nurse. Marie was awarded one of four bronze stars to South Dakota female veterans for her service. During this time she witnessed the surrender of Japan and the destructive wrath of the Atom Bomb at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
On August 31, 1947, Marie married Alfred Kemper. They were blessed with three children: Mark (Susan) Kemper of Lino Lakes, MN, Rosemarie (Rob) Donlin of Andover and Dr. Craig (Mary Kay) Kemper of Austin, TX. Her nine grandchildren include Matthew Kemper, Erin Nehring, Carly Busch, Ann Elise Donlin, Paul & Mark Donlin and Karl, Kristin & John Kemper; also eight great-grandchildren: Ella & Addison Kemper, Caleb, Ava, Lydia & Sophia Nehring, and Madelynn & Matthew Busch. Marie is survived by one sister, Mildene Turpin of Bakersfield, CA. She was preceded in death by her parents, Bertha & Orvil; brothers, Marvin, Clarence, Mike and Darrow; sister, Mildred; and grandson, Matthew Kemper.
Marie continued to work as a nurse after the war working in emergency rooms in Pierre, SD, and as a private duty nurse in St. Anthony. She authored her own biography, "The Springtime of Life," a story of her early life growing up in South Dakota. She was an avid reader, having family ties to Mark Twain. Marie enjoyed playing cards, especially bridge, with friends. She was famous for her pecan, apple and rhubarb pies. Marie will be remembered for her infectious smile, pleasant laugh and her hugs and the love for her family. Marie imparted a "tough love" for her children but it reminded them that hard work and persistence was required in this life.
Marie and Al enjoyed many years of travel after Al's retirement. Trips to Marble Falls, TX, Hawaii and Europe were favorites. They celebrated 61 years of marriage prior to Al's passing in 2009. Marie will be missed by friends and family.
Services were held on Feb. 1, at the New Brighton United Church of Christ.
Private interment, with full military honors, will be at a later date at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, SD.
Memorials may be made to New Brighton UCC.