My Dad peacefully accepted his invitation to join his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Thursday, September 19, 2019. Stephen (Steve) Louis Kemnitz was born to Chester (Chet) and Irene Kemnitz, on March 21, 1941 and became the 7th of their eventual proud family of 11 children. Chet and Irene raised quite the crew, thick as thieves, full of love, respect and a few other things!
On September 26, 1964, he married my sweet Mom, Nancy Carol Henke. I don’t think she knew what she was signing up for, but they made two of the very best parents. They joined forces to raise just me which was no easy task and gave them the thought “one is enough”. They spent the early years of their marriage building the house that they would spend their lives in together. They enjoyed a great life full of camping, fishing, card playing, gardening, traveling to Texas and participating in community events such as thrasheries, polka dances and firemen’s picnics at which they never met a stranger. They shared a great love for each other and an even greater love for their Church and Lord.
Dad was a man with a lot of “motor” with one speed and was not easy to keep up with. He worked fiercely hard to support us, yet found time to fix equipment for farmers, do major home projects for his family and friends, grow gardens to give most of it away, do research to preserve the history of his home town of Eldorado, stamp the letter “SLK” on everything he owned and enjoy a beer. He took things apart, sometimes to know how it worked and others to make them better. He could fix anything “if” he wanted to and could invent and build just about anything including tractors, wood-splitters and toys.
He also loved to learn and while he was never a man of many words, when he did share with you, there was something intentional about what you heard. You either learned something incredible, got his opinion (he had a few), heard a story of something crazy he “might” have done or he may have taught you how to do something valuable. Above all he loved to play jokes on us and make us laugh. Many of you still haven’t caught on to some of the pranks he played because he had a talent for blaming it on others or covering his tracks, you might want to think about that a little.
The list of those he left behind who love and will miss him is long so to leave room for other news in this paper, I only list the following: his wife, Nancy, who loved and endlessly cared for him all of their years together which was not an easy job, since Dad was not one to take direction very well; me, his only and favorite daughter Tammy Kemnitz-Allen, son-in-law Randy Allen, grand-pup Puckett; his brothers: Dave Kemnitz, Jim (Sandy) Kemnitz and Gary (Faye) Kemnitz; his sisters: Mary Kaiser, Kaye Albrecht and Alice (Jeff) Wittchow; brothers-in-law: Fred Mattheis, and Bill Freiberg; his sisters-in-law: Lucille Kemnitz and Carol Kemnitz; and a huge batch of 51 nieces and nephews.
In heaven he has joined his parents, Chet and Irene Kemnitz; his brothers: Louis Kemnitz and Tom Kemnitz; his sisters: Joann Freiberg and Sally Mattheis; his brothers-in-law: Bill Kaiser and Reine Albrecht, and his sister-in-law, Beth Kemnitz.
Our Family and friends are welcome to gather on Saturday, October 5, 2019, from 12:30-3:30pm at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, 320 Mt. Zion Dr., Ripon. A memorial service will follow at 3:30pm with Pastor Michael Sheppard officiating. He will be laid to rest in the Eldorado Cemetery at a later date and free beer will be served. Divine Passage Funeral Home in Ripon is proudly serving the Kemnitz family. Divinepassagefunerals.com
In lieu of flowers or monetary gifts, we ask that you do an act of kindness for someone in his honor.