pic

Former Stettler area resident Art Kempf will be celebrating a very special day next month

Kempf, now a Lacombe resident, marks his 100th birthday on Feb. 22nd

Born on the family farm southeast of Botha, Art Kempf will be marking an amazing milestone next month.

Now living at the Royal Oak Village in Lacombe, Kempf will be celebrating his 100th birthday on Feb. 22nd.

His daughter Joyce Laughlin, who lives in Blackfalds, said that her dad once told her that his own father had once told him, ‘The other guy has got to live too’. In other words, it’s just not an option to not lend a helping hand whenever you can.

You have to help out your neighbours.

“That’s his philosophy and he was always, always helping other people,” she explained. “He also always believed in hard work – he’s definitely an example of how hard work doesn’t kill anybody,” she added with a chuckle. “And he’s always been a giver.”

Kempf, who was also born on the family farm, ran the operation for 68 years.

And according to Laughlin, it was during those years that he sold a Percheron and Belgian cross horse that was the highest priced horse at the Stettler house sale that year.

“Dad also had a dairy and showed purebred Holsteins at Edmonton and Calgary, winning many awards with his show string.”

Kempf also travelled to Seattle to a scientific breeding school and later became president of the Stettler Artificial Insemination Association for nine years.

On July 8th, 1945 he married Lillian Tuck, and after a few years, Joyce, Mary Lou and Diane rounded out the family.

Joyce, who was born in Stettler, explained that her dad has always been very community-minded – a natural outflow of his desire to help others.

He and Lillian were very active in the Botha Square Dance Club for years.

And on the political side, Art served as a County of Stettler councillor for 16 years. He also served as deputy reeve for several years as well.

Joyce said that he was also on the hospital board while the facility was being built, as well as the school board.

“He was very respected and dedicated to his constituents.”

He also knows how to have fun. “Dad loved to curl with his neighbours and brother and won many bonspiels including the Challenge Stettler Bonspiel.”

He and Lillian were adventurous also when it came to travelling over the years, heading to such locales as Hawaii, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Arizona, California, Alaska, Costa Rica, Niagara Falls, and the Vancouver Expo.

Art also loved to fish, and one of the biggest highlights came when he caught a sail fish while deep sea fishing in Mexico, said Joyce.

“He loved going fishing with his buddies – when the work was done of course,” explained Joyce. “When his eyesight began to fail, I was incredibly lucky to be able to take him fishing at Blood Indian Dam. We had to be there early in the morning to get the best spots because he knew where they would bite.

”Those were great times, but he never did convince me it was for me!”

Looking further back to her own childhood days, she said her dad could be stern when he needed to be, but really he was always a marshmallow underneath. “He really is.”

He currently resides at the Royal Oak in Lacombe where he is very well respected by staff and has made friends with the residents. The pandemic has of course sadly gotten in the way of family visits.

“I can’t see him these days, but I talk to him every day,” said Joyce, adding that her dad has always led a very healthy life, which has no doubt contributed to his longevity.

As to the big day coming up, whether or not they can see him in person depends on the shifting pandemic restrictions. But the family does have a few surprises in store for their beloved father.

“The staff at Royal Oak are also just amazing – they’ve been asking him what his favourite meals are. I know the recreation people there and some of the nurses, and they’ve got big plans for him!

“He keeps telling me, ‘They keep asking me all these questions so I know they are up to something – but I don’t know what they are doing’,” she added with a laugh.

“We just want him to have fun on his birthday!”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

arts

Art Kempf (photo submitted)

Just Posted

Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says Albertans need to keep making safe choices to start bending the curve back down. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
One new COVID-19 death in Red Deer, 257 additional cases province-wide

Red Deer sits at 459 active cases of the virus

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday that the province may consider a regional approach to loosening COVID-19 restrictions if numbers continue to decline. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Province further easing health restrictions

Numbers of people hospitalized and in intensive care has dropped dramatically, says premier

Dr. Stanley Read
Hometown Bashaw doctor recognized with alumni award for AIDS work

Dr. Stanley Read, born and raised in Bashaw, is considered a global health leader

File photo
Alberta’s central zone has 670 active cases

301 new cases identified Sunday

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
UPDATED: Located

Kenneth Gilbert was last seen in Camrose County on Feb. 25

A health-care worker looks at a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province, Monday, March 1, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week: Anand

Anita Anand says she’s received assurances from the vaccine manufacturer

hands
The call is out in Rimbey to sign on with a group that is all about building connections

‘Already, we are building a network where we can rely on each other and help each other out’

FILE - Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning singer, actor and humanitarian posted a video on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, of her singing just before getting her COVID-19 vaccine shot. Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee for coronavirus research. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
‘Vaccine, vaccine’: Dolly sings ‘Jolene’ rewrite before shot

The Grammy-winning legend turned 75 this year

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland speaks about the Fiscal update during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID-19: Wage and rent subsidies, lockdown support to be extended until June

Chrystia Freeland says now is not time to lower levels of support

Samantha Sharpe, 25, was stabbed to death at Sunchild First Nation on Dec. 12, 2018. Chelsey Lagrelle was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for manslaughter in a Red Deer courtroom on Tuesday. Photo contributed
Central Alberta woman sentenced to 4 1/2 years for stabbing friend to death in 2018

Chelsey Lagrelle earlier pleaded guilty to stabbing Samantha Sharpe during argument

Calgary police say they received 80 hate crime complaints between January and November 2020. (Pixabay)
‘Racism is a real problem:’ Muslim women fearful following attacks in Edmonton

So far in 2021, three of seven hate-crime-related investigations have involved Somali-Muslim women

Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro speaks during a news conference in Calgary on May 29, 2020. Shandro says Alberta is considering whether to extend the time between COVID-19 vaccine shots to four months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta may follow B.C.’s lead on faster rollout of first COVID-19 dose

Tyler Shandro says a committee of COVID-19 experts is analyzing emerging data and a decision is coming

A locally-produced video project aims to preserve Canada’s railway history

‘Railways have been an integral part of Canadian history since 1836’

Ryan Jake Applegarth of Ponoka, 28, is scheduled to appear at Ponoka Provincial Court on March 12, 2021. (File photo)
Discussions about justice continue as Ponoka murder victim’s case proceeds

Reaction to comments Ponoka Staff Sgt. Chris Smiley made to town council last month

Most Read