Velda Nadine (Chester) Kemper

Staff Writer
The Ottawa Herald

Velda Kemper came into this world to Dan and Clarice (Bennett) Chester in Beaver Oklahoma on October 17, 1932. She weighed in at a whopping 3 pounds and her first diaper was a handkerchief. She was the oldest of 3 children. Both parents and her brother Ennis Armondo Chester preceded her in death. Her sister, Thelma Jacobson of Texas, remains.

The majority of her life before marriage was lived in Liberal, KS. She fell in love and married Jesse Everett Kemper in Liberal Kansas and married him the day after graduating High School, on May 27th, 1950.

Together, they raised 6 children: Charles Daniel “Danny” (Patricia Kessler) of Missouri - sons: John, James, Josh and their children and spouses, Carl Andrew “Andy" (Carmalita Hurtado) of Pratt, Ruth Lucile “Lucy” (Mike) Florez of Tulsa, OK - daughter Stephenie and her spouse and family; Timothy Everett (Edith Wilson) of Pratt- Paul, Matthew, Jason, Robyn and their children and spouses, Rebecca Suzanne (Jack) Buettgenbach, of Ottawa, KS- Jennifer, and Devin; Deborah Ann (Randy) Senior of Pomona, KS- son, Jess.

Velda served everyone she met as it was her nature to serve and be helpful, but more importantly, she served the Lord with her whole heart. She operated Kemper Answering service for more than 20 years out of her home and was greatly loved by all of her clients.

Velda and Everett were strong believers in family and raised their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, worshipping many years in the Calvary Baptist Church of Pratt. She was Everett’s caregiver to his last breath, in 2001, at great personal sacrifice; evidencing to everyone who knew her of her loving devotion and selflessness. When it was suggested to her that his care was too great and her health was at risk if she continued, her response was “I married this man in love and I promised to honor him in sickness and in health and I will care for him every day that I am able and if I lose my health in that effort, what better way to spend it?”

Velda was a collector of many things but her most precious collections were first, and foremost, her friends. She loved deeply and unreservedly and was known to many as a willing listener at any hour without judgement or condemnation, always pointing back to Christ and scripture for answers and truth.

Of the lesser, and more material loves; she was a collector of souvenir spoons, numbering in the hundreds, from all over the world but primarily around the states. An ardent book lover, her home was always filled with books and music, sewing and crocheting and in her final years she embroidered hundreds and hundreds of tea towels and every person that came to visit went home with one or two towels and probably a pot holder or two.

Her daily appearance included a dress, white ankle socks, white Oxfords and a bib apron. She was never fancy or elegant but she wore earrings every day and a pony tail, and she had the countenance of a queen because she radiated love. In later years, the oxfords gave way to prosthetic boots and the pony tail gave way to a short bob that was easy. She was always practical, but that radiance only grew as she diminished.

She was known for her baking and decorating cakes in the 70’s and 80’s and supplied more than 100 wedding cakes in that time. She spent a large majority of her time in the art of baking, preserving foods, making clothing, afghans, quilts, and all the arts of creating a loving home. For several years, she baked cookies on a weekly basis and sent them to the nursing homes, for their enjoyment. Her most common phrase was “what can I do to help you?”

She was never wealthy by material means but one would never know it based on her willingness to share what she had. If she baked two loaves of bread, one went down the street to a neighbor.

In her retirement years, she volunteered at the Red Cross in Pratt, then later moved to be with her daughters in eastern Kansas, where she resided in and blessed the home of her youngest daughter’s family until the angels took her to glory, on July 25, 2020 at 9:02 a.m.

Funeral services will be August 1st, 2020 at 1:30 pm, at Larrison Mortuary, of Pratt with graveside services to follow at Greenlawn Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the LifeCare Center for Women (in the effort to rescue babies from abortion and strengthen families) 121 E. 2nd Street Ottawa, KS 66067 in care of Larrison Mortuary 300 Country Club Rd Pratt, KS 67124.

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