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Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home

1805 Highway 281 North, Marble Falls, TX

OBITUARY

John Michi Kemper

October 21, 1952May 14, 2020

John Michi Kemper, 67, of Marble Falls, Texas, died May 14, 2020. He suffered from complications associated with Parkinson’s disease. John was born Oct. 21, 1952, in Wichita, Kansas. He was the youngest son of George Alexander Kemper, Jr., and Anna Bess “Betsy” Bennett Kemper.

John was an Air Force brat who moved multiple times during his father’s 26-year military career. In 1957, his family traveled to Marble Falls as summer campers. They developed a recreational vehicle park and campground on Backbone Creek called Kemper’s Korner in 1959 and built a home on the site in 1965. John graduated from Marble Falls High School in 1970.

From an early age, John was a successful entrepreneur. He sold marbles in elementary school, manned the gas pumps, boat rentals, and cabins at Kemper’s Korner as a teen, moved mobile homes with his father, and ran the high school dances at the local VFW. He was always planning new adventures with his trusty sidekicks, Belinda and Birney.

John met the love of his life and wife of 47 years, Belinda, in the 8th grade. She and her friends stopped to gas up their boat at Kemper’s Korner. The two became inseparable. In college, while working at a Jack-In-the-Box, John used to write love letters to Belinda on hamburger wrappers when business was slow. The high school sweethearts married at the age of 19. John attended the University of Texas at Austin but never earned a degree as he left to purchase and run Cottonwood Resort, a 40-unit motel, marina, and bait shop. After four years at Cottonwood, John built a concrete, tilt wall, solar home with his uncle, ran a Wendy’s in Austin, cooked at the Observation Restaurant on Lake Buchanan, and then managed the Country Club of Meadowlakes before purchasing the Blue Bonnet Café from Don Bridges in February 1981. John turned the Blue Bonnet Café into a world-famous restaurant and served his community well. He helped originate the Walkway of Lights and Lakefest. He actively organized and campaigned for a local hospital for more than 20 years. He also served on numerous civic boards including Marble Falls Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce where he acted as president, the Marble Falls Tri-Commission, the Baylor Scott & White Capital Campaign Steering Committee, the Baylor Scott & White Advisory Board of Directors Marble Falls Medical Center and many others.

In addition, he received the Outstanding Citizen Award, the Ambassador Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce, an Honorary Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary Club of Marble Falls, The Texas Department of State Health Services EMS Citizen Award, the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas Community Builder Award, the Legacy Fund’s Philanthropy Award, the Sam Walton Business Leader Award, and the Texas Restaurant Association Restaurant Neighbor Award. One of his biggest joys was supporting the Marble Falls Area EMS with a twice-yearly fish fry at the Blue Bonnet Café.

John was a devoted husband, father, brother, grandfather, and friend. He gave generously to the community and worked tirelessly for those that he loved. He always liked to refer to himself as, “just an old café cook,” but to everyone who knew him, he was much more than that. He was an avid hot-tubber, trick-skier and world traveler who loved to dance to James Brown, make cowboy cookies, eat poached eggs, and cruise Lake Marble Falls in his boat.

His memory will be cherished by his wife, Belinda Kemper; his two children, Lindsay Plante and husband David, Celeste Taylor and husband Nate; and siblings, George “Butch” Kemper and wife Janice, Charles “Chuck” Kemper and wife Cheri, and Betsy Kemper. John is also survived by his four grandchildren Ella, Camille, John Heyward, and Anna; many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Due to the COVID-19 health pandemic, there will not be a public service at this time. However, there will be a celebration of life later in the year.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

John Michi Kemper

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Justin Bratton

May 29, 2020

I was truly shocked when I heard this news. John was a mentor of mine in the restaurant industry. This was one of the hardest working, dedicated man I have ever met. I always had the greatest respect toward Mr. John Kemper. My condolences to you Belinda. - Justin Bratton

Christina Badger

May 28, 2020

Mr. Kemper, was one of the best, employer, I ever had. It was nice working, with a great crew, plus an awesome boss!!! I send my condolences and prayers to the family! Rest in Peace John, you really, made a difference, in my life!!!

Cecilia & Robert de la Garza

May 28, 2020

We would go to the Bluebonnet occasionally to pick up menus for the Visitor Center. John was always so gracious and appreciative that we, at the Visitor Center, encouraged travelers to stop by the Bluebonnet Cafe for a great meal and pie. Our condolences to the Kemper family.

Larry Whitehead

May 24, 2020

Belinda I was saddened to hear of Johns passing. My wife and I live in Georgetown and almost always stop in at the Bluebonnet when passing through Marble Falls hoping to bump into you or John. Our prayers are with you and your family.

Larry, just an old school bus driver.

Sheila and Romie Cormier

May 20, 2020

Dear Belinda and family

We are so sorry for your loss. We pray that God will provide you peace.

Sincerely, Sheila and Romie Cormier

George Russell

May 19, 2020

Our deepest condolences to Belinda and the rest of John's family. John was such a special man. He truly loved his family and his community. I will miss his smile and his friendship. John will be missed and our community has lost a champion. His investment in this community will be remembered and appreciated for a very long time. Will miss you my friend,

MIKE AND JANICE LENZ

May 19, 2020

Our Memories are to great to write them all down. We love your family with all our hearts and will miss him everyday. Mike and John had a love for business and community that they shared for years. Especially the stock shows back in the day.
If you need us we are here and hope the prayers for your family will somehow ease the pain.
Love and prayers are following you and your family in this time of need.
love ya
Mike, Janice Lenz
Jason , Misty, and Tiffany

Priscilla Brewee

May 19, 2020

Once when I was visiting my daughter she brought me into your restuarant. I don't remember who helped me or if he was in the store, I just remember the food was amazing and the pie was great and when I left I thought if I ever got the chance If tell the owner thank you. Thank you.

sammy hall

May 18, 2020

belinda i love you and john many good times in school. anything you need from me just call. i will always be around somewhere to help. from my heart.sammy hall

Sam Planta

May 18, 2020

As Air Force dependents we became buddies thanks to our parents when they were stationed in Bermuda. As a 13 year old with a thriving paper route business, I needed an “employee” Johnny jumped in and subsequently took over when we were transferred out. It was always fun to seek him out when we stopped in for a slice of coconut cream pie at the Blue Bonnet.
He was a gentle spirit and one of the “ good guys”.
Pease be still.

FROM THE FAMILY

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