Obituary: Donald Kemp


Donald W. Kemp, 93, of Park View, passed away at the Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House in Bettendorf on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024.  

His memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 17, at Chambers Funeral Home in Eldridge. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the funeral home. A private burial service for him and his wife, Arnita, will be held in Spragueville.

Donald was born July 18, 1930, in Spragueville to William Henry Louis Kemp and Edith Anna Engel.  He was baptized and confirmed at Salem Lutheran Church in Spragueville.  He attended Fairfield #3 and North Bend elementary schools and one year at Preston High School. He worked for several area farmers, then went into the Army in 1952 and proudly served until he was discharged in 1954.  He did tour duty in Austria as a member of the mountain ski patrol team, and while there earned his GED in just three weeks. He was a foreman at Clinton Engines until 1966, and then started working at Caterpillar in Mt. Joy until it closed in 1988.  After that he worked part-time as a tool maker at Production Tool in Mt. Joy.  Don was a terrific handyman and could fix anything, including cars, lawnmowers, and clocks.

Don married Barbara June Wing on July 5, 1955, and their son, William John, was born Dec. 12, 1956. Barbara died Aug. 2, 1975. On Jan. 2, 1976, he married Arnita Kreiter and welcomed Kandi and Kevin into the family as his own. Arnita died Nov. 17, 2022.  

Those left to honor his memory include their children; William John (Joyce) Kemp of Eldridge, Kandi (Brad) Geerts of El Paso, Ill., and Kevin (Patti) Kreiter of Davenport; his grandchildren include Daniel (Erica) Kemp, Steven (Kimberly) Kemp, Brandon Geerts, Brady Geerts, Nikki (Greg) Glines, Kirk Kreiter and Jesse (Cory) Hughes; his great-grandchildren include Winifred Kemp, Shelby and Elliott Kemp and Bentley and Sophie Glines.

In addition to his parents and wives, Don was preceded in death by his sisters, Betty Mae Huffmann, Janet Kemp (stillborn at birth); and brothers, Robert and Harold.  Don was the last surviving Kemp from the Henry Kemp family.  

Don wanted to give special thanks to his longtime friend and mentor, Merle Jensen, who he shared many projects and laughs with, and the best neighbors in the world, Shane and Amy Glover and Scott and Vronda Daily, who helped him out in so many ways. Our thanks to them is beyond words. The family would like to thank Don’s visiting nurse, Mary Pillard; his family physician, Dr Neil; and the caring staff of doctors and nurses at Genesis East and Clarissa Cook for the excellent care they provided for him in his last days.

If you knew Don, you will no doubt remember him by his wonderful sense of humor, great smile, and frequently worn suspenders. But more importantly - by his laugh, big heart, and the kind words he had for you.

Memorials can be made to the Long Grove Fire Department or the Eldridge Medic EMS.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting Don’s obituary at


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