Memorial Day Thoughts…

On this Memorial Day, I want to talk a little about my Father…

Harold Lawrence Kemper was born December 17, 1930, at the family farm in the rural farming town of Verboort, OR.  He was one of eight boys, with the eighth boy passing away at birth.

His oldest brother Clarence still lives on the family farm today.

He led a typical life on the farm, but it wasn’t an easy life as he lost his Mother at the age of seven and his Father at the age of 18.  He grew up acquiring his Father’s love of baseball and he played and managed at the semi-pro level as he got older.

He joined the U.S. Army and was a Sergeant in the Korean Conflict – called a police action, but from every picture I’ve seen of it, it looked like a war to me – leading men on the front lines in battle.  He never talked about the war, and we never asked.

He was awarded a Purple Heart medal for being injured during the battle, something I didn’t know until we moved out of our family house in Cornelius and the medal was found in a box in our storage room.  

Upon returning from Korea, he met Barbara LaBonte in Verboort, and they were married in October of 1953.  They raised five children – four boys and one girl – and both spent over 20 years working in the growing high-tech industry at Tektronix.  

He passed away on July 1, 1992, at the age of 61 due to complications from Cancer.  

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of my Father and what he did to help me become the person that I am today.  He got me, and the rest of my family, into hockey by taking us to see the Portland Buckaroos and then when the Winter Hawks came to town in 1976, the family went to the first game and were hooked.

In later years, my wife Vicki and I would sit in our seats in Section 10 at the ole MC and at times, I could hear my Father bellowing from his seat in Section 52.   It was usually directed at an official…something that he also passed down to his youngest son, and something that his son has to watch while broadcasting hockey games.

My Mom still attends games with my family and my brothers family and is such a great Grandmother to all of the Grandkids in the Kemper family.  I only wish my Father would still be by her side watching the next generation grow up.  

Thanks Dad…you are missed tremendously.




  1. Dad would be so proud of you!

    Your sister

  2. AK, Nice tribute to your father. I am sure he was a great man.

    A Potter

  3. A great story about your Dad Andy,
    thanks for sharing.

  4. Found this blog doing some geneological reseach. You seem to be my 2nd cousin :)

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