Robert Aron Kempe
Hudson - Robert Aron Kempe, of Hudson, Ohio, passed away November 30, due to complications of COVID-19. He was 98.
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on March 6, 1922, Bob grew up in Redwing, Minnesota, which he always referred to as "a magical place". He went on to earn his Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering at The University of Minnesota, working his way through school at both the YMCA front desk and laundry.
In 1944, Bob joined the United States Navy Reserve where he earned the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. During World War II, he was stationed on the USS Aaron Ward, a Destroyer Escort in the Pacific.
In 1946, while still in the Navy, Bob took classes at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where he met and married Virginia Lou Wiseman. He was honorably discharged from the Navy that same year. He continued his education through 1949, while working for TRW, Inc. through 1953. In 1953, Bob became Vice President of MetalPhoto Corp. in Cleveland, and in 1963, he became President and CEO. In 1971, he became President of Reuter-Stokes, Inc. Bob retired in 1987 after negotiating the sale of Reuter-Stokes to the General Electric Company. After retirement, he founded Kempe Everest Limited and maintained an office in Hudson, where the family had lived since 1957.
Truly a Renaissance man, Bob was interested in classical music and literature, often quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson; as an art lover, he was especially fond of Claude Monet. His collection of vintage slide rules now resides in the collection of the University of Minnesota's Engineering Department. Bob was an avid cyclist – many of his fellow residents at Laurel Lake remember him bicycling to his office on a daily basis. The family had a vacation home on Lieutenant Island in Wellfleet, and he enjoyed the Cape Cod Bike Trail immensely. He also enjoyed riding to Provincetown, as the dunes of Provincetown were one of his favorite places to be. Bob was a sharp businessman, a loving husband and father, and a compassionate and kind man. Those who knew him will miss his wit, his problem-solving skills, his empathy and his friendship.
Bob is predeceased by his parents, his wife, and his son. He is survived by his daughter, Katherine Kempe; his niece, Candice Wiseman Channing; three grandchildren; one great-grandchild; a niece and nephew.
Per his request, there will be no services. Donations in Bob's memory may be made to University of Minnesota Foundation, P.O. Box 860266, Minneapolis, MN 55489. Arrangements by Murphy Funeral Home, Chagrin Falls. Please sign Tribute Wall at: murphyfamilyfuneralhome.com
Posted online on December 20, 2020