Francis John Kempf

07/05/1929 — 04/04/2009

From Richland, WA, US | Born in Lakeview, OR

Francis John Kempf

Francis John Kempf, 79, of Richland, Washington passed away on Saturday, April 4, 2009 while surrounded by his loving family.

He was born in Lakeview, Oregon on July 5, 1929 to the late Alice and Joseph Kempf. Frank graduated from Mt. Angel Prep in 1947. He proudly served his country in the Army Air Corps during the Korean conflict. After returning home, he attended the University of Portland, earning his B.S. in General Engineering. During college, he spent his summers working with his Father building grain elevators in and around Silverton, Oregon. He graduated from the University of Portland in 1956. He married the love of his life, Patricia, on July 16, 1955 in Salem, Oregon. They moved to Richland in 1956, and chose to remain in Richland to raise their family. He later returned to his studies, earning a Master's degree from the University of Idaho in Mechanical Engineering. He was a lifetime member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and served as the chairperson of the Columbia Basin Chapter from 1967-1968.

Frank had an extensive career for companies such as General Electric, Westinghouse Hanford, Exxon Nuclear, Advanced Nuclear Fuels and Siemens. Frank proudly helped to design the core vessel of the Fast Flux Test Facility. He worked at the Hanford site for 32 years before retiring in 1988. After "retiring," he returned to work as a consultant on various projects. Frank took great pride in his work and his family took great pride in him.

Frank was strongly devoted to two things in life; his work and his family. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Patricia, their seven children Paul Anita Kempf, Joe Diane Kempf, Kathy Kempf, Diane Kempf, Julie Kempf, Sharon Jayson Peck, and John Jana Kempf. He is also survived by his sister, Theresa Leo Steffan, his good friend, Jack Fastabend, as well as numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and loved ones.

He was lovingly referred to as Frank, Dad, Daddy, Grandpa, Pop Pop, Grandpa How-do, and Grandpa Bacon. He greatly enjoyed taking hunting & fishing trips with his sons, grandsons and friends. He taught each of us many important life lessons, and made a lasting impression on everyone who knew him. He taught us how to love, the importance of family and the value in a job well done. He will be missed.

Visitation will be held on Monday, April 13, 2009 from 5:00pm until the Rosary at 7:00 pm at Einan's Funeral Home. A celebration of his life will be held at Christ the King Catholic Church, 1126 Long Avenue, Richland, Washington, on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 11:00 am. Graveside services will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens, 915 Bypass Highway, Richland, Washington.

Memorial contributions may be made to Christ the King Church, 1126 Long Avenue, Richland, Washington.

~Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down, to let us know they are happy~

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Francis John Kempf

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  • To Patricia, Paul, Joe, Kathy, Julie, Diane, Sharon and John, I am sorry to hear about the loss of your husband and dad. I know the sadness as I lost my mom 3 months ago. You will be in my prayers.

    Peggy Naylor
    November 4, 2014
    Kennewick, WA, US
  • Pat and Family,

    Frank was a very unique individual. During Pauls tribute he accurately described Frank as one of those persons that you would never forget. Before moving to Richland, I had the privilage of knowing six such indiviuals during my life time. After meeting Frank I now know seven. We all felt Frank’s calm and kind demeaner. Thank you for sharing him with us. We will miss Frank.

    Merl & Valda Rosenthal
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, US
  • I miss you grandpa. I never got to meet you as a grown man. all the lessons you taught I never respected until I was grown, you will always be a true man to respect. maybe ill see you again someday.

    Rusell Kempf
    November 4, 2014
    richland, WA
  • Jana
    November 4, 2014
    Pasco, WA, US