Rose Marie Kemp, age 86, of Kendallville, passed away Thursday, January 5, 2023 at Lutheran Life Villages in Kendallville. Mrs. Kemp was born in Kendallville, Indiana on August 26, 1936 to the late Otto E. Kiebel and Cecilia C. (Gabet) Kiebel. Her older sister, Marilyn, was 12 years old and her brother, Francis A. “Bud” Kiebel was 6 years old when she was born. Both are deceased. Each had five children. Rose graduated from Kendallville High School in 1954. After working at McCray Refrigeration, in the office for three years, she began working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service as an administrative assistant to the area staff in 1957 and retired in 1984. That office serviced 13 counties in northeast Indiana, and Rose traveled to these counties where she trained 92 clerks over the 27-year period in addition to serving as secretary to the area staff. During her time there, she was sent to school in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Lincoln, Nebraska. She received four superior service awards and one outstanding service award, the highest in the state. She also served two years on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Indianapolis. After retiring, she worked eight years for attorney John Thrapp as a legal secretary. During that time, Rose attended Indiana Business College in Fort Wayne studying business law. Later she worked four years at McCray Memorial Hospital in Kendallville processing commercial insurance claims. In 1997, she began working for attorney J. David Brinkerhoff in Garrett, Indiana, retiring on September 30, 2003. On July 2, 2004, she married her childhood sweetheart, James R. Kemp. She has two stepsons and one step granddaughter, all who reside in Florida.
At age 6, Rose studied piano with Elizabeth Fritz and later with Ruth Mains. At age 18, she studied pipe organ at St. Jude Catholic Church in Fort Wayne and served as church organist at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Kendallville for 22 years. She served as president and secretary of the Rosary Sodality and as a lector and eucharistic minister and member of Harvest House. For four years, she served on the parish council and was secretary all four years. She was a member of Professional Business Women Association in Kendallville since 1989. During her married years, she and her husband lived at Blue Lake near Churubusco in the summer months, and for four months each winter, enjoyed the warmer weather at Panama City Beach, Florida.
Rose enjoyed playing the piano very much and learned to play the hammered dulcimer. She also enjoyed acrylic painting, embroidery, crocheting, and shell crafts. She also made many teddy bears and dolls. Her greatest joy was the model railroad layout her husband made her in the basement of their home. It is “Lionel O” scale and is truly unique.
Her husband, James R. Kemp, passed away on February 10, 2009. Her mother and father, sister, Marilyn J. Breyan, Cherry Hill, New Jersey and her brother, Francis A. “Bud” Kiebel, New Haven, Indiana are all deceased. Ten nieces and nephews survive. They are Rita Novak of Montross, Virginia; David Breyan of Reading, Pennsylvania; Linda Famula of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Phillip Breyan of National Park, New Jersey; Laurel R. Martin of West Berlin, New Jersey; Paula Coil of Missouri City, Texas; Michael Kiebel of Portage, Michigan; and Margaret Harper of New Haven, Indiana; Barbara Oliver of Seattle, Washington; and Mary Catherine Hostetler of New Haven, Indiana.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, January 7, 2023 at 10:00 AM at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Avilla with visitation at 9:30 AM prior to the service.
Burial will follow at St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery, New Haven, Indiana.