John Robert Wempe
John Robert (Jack) Wempe, 83, of Brooksville FL, passed away there at the HPH Hospice House surrounded by his family on Jan 11, 2020. Jack was born in Topeka KS on Jan 23, 1936, the second of five sons of G.A. and Ruth J. Wempe. Before graduating from Hayden High School in Topeka, he was named an all-state athlete in basketball. He graduated from Washburn University in 1958. Jack married Shirley Anne Brown on Aug 29, 1959 in Topeka KS and spent 60 wonderful years of marriage with her. She survives him along with their four children and their spouses: Susan and Glenn Erdman, Mount Dora FL; Sara and Ret. Lt. Col. Malcolm E. Earles, Monroe NC; Drs. David and Stacy Wempe, Spring Hill FL; and Brenda and Bob Wempe, Houston TX; 11 grandchildren and four great grandchildren; Brothers Joe Wempe (Debbie) and Jim (Joan) Wempe, of Topeka KS and sisters in law Barbara (Larry) Van Meter of Sunrise Beach, MO and Ginny Hill of Bartlett TN. He was predeceased by his parents and brothers Jerry Wempe and Bill Wempe.
Jack began working for JC Penney Co in 1961 in Albuquerque NM. He had a distinguished career in local, district and regional management positions for 34 years and retired in 1996 in Greenville MS as a store manager. Jack’s participation in the communities where he lived was extensive: Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus, United Way, Rotary, Mall Associations, Downtown Merchants Associations, and Economic Development Committees. Probably the most impactful project he undertook, as far as boosting a local economy, was organizing the first Mardi Gras parade in Bogalusa LA. Today, MCCA (Magic City Carnival Association) is one of the largest Mardi Gras parades outside of New Orleans LA.
A funeral mass will take place on Saturday, Jan 25, 2020 at 12 noon at St. Frances Cabrini Roman Catholic Church, Brooksville FL. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul,1291 Kass Cr., Spring Hill FL 34606. Interment will take place at Mt Calvary Cemetery, Topeka KS, at a later date.