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Betty Jane Kempe

Betty Jane Kempe, 70, passed away Nov. 17, 2009, at Lakewood Health Systems in Staples.

She was born to John Henry and Jeanette (Rens) VanMiddendorp on Dec. 22, 1938, in their farmhouse in Rock Valley, Iowa.

Betty was united in marriage with Robert Leroy Kempe on June 11, 1956, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Bertha. Having lived in the community for 57 years, she will be remembered as a dedicated elementary teacher and principal. She was a member of the Ladies Aide, Empty Stocking Fund, Salvation Army, Teachers Retirement Organization, and the England Prairie Pioneer Club. Her hobbies and interests included hunting, fishing, gardening and embroidering. She loved spending time with her grandchildren, reading and playing cards.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Nov. 20 at St. John Lutheran Church in Wadena, with Vicar Stephen Melzer officiating. Honorary pallbearers are Jason Kempe, Ryan Kempe, Kayla Kempe, John Kempe and Cathy Kempe. Pallbearers are Frank Tranby, David Tranby, Bill Hess, Mark Hess, LaVerne Dahlvang and Eugene Boelz. Interment is in Greenlawn Cemetery in Verndale. Arrangements are with the Johnson Memorial Home in Wadena (

Survivors include her husband, Robert of Verndale; her mother, Jeanette of Wadena; sons, Bradley Kempe (MaryDee) of Verndale, and Rodney (Brenda) Kempe of Hewitt; five grandchildren; and her sister-in-law, Bette Peterson of Wadena.

Betty was preceded in death by her father, John; and brother-in-law, Don Peterson.