Kyle Alex KEMPSKI
November 26, 1984 – March 15, 2020
With deepest sorrow, we announce that Kyle Alex Kempski, 35, our most beloved husband, son, brother, and family member, passed away on Sunday, March 15, 2020. Our lives will never be the same without his light shining in this world.
Kyle will be missed every day by his wife, Laura, his mother Melody, his father and stepmother Keith and Susan, his brother Paul, and his mother-in-law Pam, and Jake and Sadie, his beloved fur babies. His decision to depart this world was completely unexpected and stunned everyone who knew him. Kyle had so much goodness, a deep capacity to bring happiness and encouragement to others, and an incredibly bright future. The world is a lesser place without him. Kyle made a dramatic entrance into the world in Madison, Wisconsin, after an exhausting 28-hour labor. He didn’t sleep through a single night until he was 15 months old. The doctor finally told us to quit getting up at night to comfort him, to let him cry a little bit. It’s possible that we invented helicopter parenting. Kyle was always moving. As soon as he could stand, he was jumping. As soon as he could walk, he was running. Kyle was headstrong and didn’t hesitate to share his young opinions, even as a toddler. Kyle played baseball and hockey as a young grade-schooler. He had a beautiful voice and perfect pitch from a very young age and sang in the Madison Children’s Choir and the Madison Boy Choir. Kyle also played the violin with his fourth-grade strings group, and loved building, inventing, and fishing. He attended grade school and middle school in Madison and Middleton, Wisconsin, and high school in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
We were absolutely astonished (and, if we’re honest, a little horrified) when Kyle joined the Marines. But he was set on this course right after the 911 attacks and enlisted as soon as he turned 18. Kyle was intelligent, resourceful, and ambitious, with a deep work ethic, and was moved into the noncommissioned officer program where he quickly advanced to Staff Sergeant. It was in the Marines that he built a new and tougher personality of fun, hard work, and achievement. Ironically, we believe it was in the Marines that Kyle both found and apparently quietly lost his footing. He served for eight years, including two tours of active duty in Iraq and several years in Okinawa, Japan.
While on active duty, Kyle wore many hats, possibly best explained on a plaque he received from his fellow Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, Maritime Contingency Force, near the end of his service: “Talented beyond your rank and grade, you are a Marine of many hats, FDP&E Chief, Secondary Control Point Manager, Master of MAGTF (Marine Air Ground Task Forces, which serve as the nation’s forward deployed quick response team), Mogul of MCPP (Marine Corps Planning Process), Ruler of R2P2 (Rapid Response Planning Process), Sultan of (computer) servers, and consumer of copious amounts of Monster energy drink! But most of all, you will be remembered and missed for your unwavering attention to detail and your ability to date waaaaay outside of your league. From the SNCOs (senior noncommissioned officers) of the 31st MEU S-3 SAEPE Expertus, Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas (often tested, often faithful, brothers forever).”
In 2012, Kyle separated from the military with many commendations and awards. As he returned home and began his new life as a civilian in Salt Lake City, he met Laura, and his world changed.
Kyle was the most devoted husband a wife could ask for. His sweet smile and caring arms made the worst of days fade away. Laura was instantly drawn to how differently he saw the world — it was a beautiful lens none of us will ever be able to see the world through. Kyle was the type of man to pull over and help an elderly woman dig her car out of the snow, or trade shifts with a co-worker so they could spend the holidays with their kids. Kyle always made choices from his heart.
Kyle and Laura bonded over tropical vacations, rescuing puppies, watching “Criminal Minds,” and a love to help those in need. They and their fur babies were fondly known as “The Kempski Bears” and always will be. He was a big strong bear full of more love than this world could handle or understand — a man of his word, dignified, who believed whole-heartedly in hard work and honesty. Although his sweet bear family cannot imagine living without him, we hope to continue to live a life he would be proud of. At the time of his death, Kyle was working as the Safety and Security Manager at Marriott Worldwide Vacations-Canyon Villas in Phoenix. He had been promoted and transferred from his position as Safety and Security Supervisor at Marriott Mountainside in Park City, Utah, where he had recently received the company’s Planet Utah Award for going above and beyond every day.
Please hold Kyle close, as we do, in your heart and thoughts.
Kyle is survived by his wife, Laura Brick-Kempski, of Salt Lake City; his mother, Melody Marler and her partner, Tom Lodge, of Orlando, Fla.; his father and stepmother, Keith Kempski and Susan Ballje, of Milwaukee, Wis.; his brother, Paul Kempski, of Orlando; his mother-in-law, Pamela Brick, of Valrico, Fla. He is also survived by his aunts and uncles, JeNene and Leon Anderson, of Blackfoot, Idaho; Linda and Dale Wahlquist, of Idaho Falls, Idaho; and Suanne Mathews, of Groveland, Idaho; his grandfather Jack Van Eps, of Blackfoot, Idaho; and numerous beloved cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandmother, Jennie Lou Van Eps, of Blackfoot, and his grandparents, Al and Evelyn Kempski, of Milwaukee.
Due to the current tilt of the world, we are grieving in place. A celebration of Kyle’s life will be held in April in Salt Lake City, Utah. Kyle will be laid to rest in Milwaukee near his grandparents.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Kyle Alex KEMPSKI
March 23, 2020
I met Melody in 1986 when I first started working at the University of Wisconsin. Such fun watching the boys running around the halls when she would bring them to the office. My heart breaks for the family, and especially Melody. We lost touch long ago but I think of you often.
March 23, 2020
Kyle was such a light in our lives, I am honored that Melody and Keith gave me the opportunity to care for their two boys. My husband and I have so many fond memories of the two boys. Kyle being our ring bearer 32 years ago. That sweet little boy with chubby legs in that short legged suit, cherishing how the three of us danced. We will forever love and miss you. Prayers and Thoughts to all of you. Garret and Jeanne Shruck
March 19, 2020
I am so happy to have had you in my live. You will be sorely missed.