Karen Kempt

Obituary of Karen Lou Kempt

Karen Lou Kempt, a long-time resident of Goldendale, died Thursday, February 4, 2021, at home, following a lengthy illness. Karen was born November 5, 1938, in Spokane, Washington. She was the daughter of Frank C. Larson and Dorothy P. Munn. As a child, Karen had to move around a lot. She attended 22 schools and was in the 5th grade before getting to stay all year at one school. She was a good student but very shy. Karen and her sister rode their bicycles all over Spokane. She also loved to roller skate and dance. She had a year of ballet lessons as a child, and later, enjoyed square dancing with her husband, Neal. She loved music. She loved to sing and learned to play the cornet in school. Other childhood activities she enjoyed were playing games outdoors with neighbors, going to the movies, swimming, and listening to the radio, as Spokane had no TV till she was about 13. She loved to read and write. Karen married, first, Ben Hodges when she was young and had four children: Linda, Mark (also known as Merek), Yvonne (later known as fawn), and Naomi. Ben joined the Air Force, and they moved around a lot. They lived in Mississippi, Coos Bay, Lakeside, Neah Bay, and Naselle AFB during his tour, then settled in the Richland/West Richland area, later moving to Kennewick. She married, second, Neal H. Kempt, who brought two more children to the family: Mike and Debbie. Karen joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1964 and was a devout member for the rest of her fife. She loved the Lord and was a good and faithful servant. She loved to go to the temples and traveled to many faraway places to visit them. She loved doing genealogy. She kept journals for many decades and wrote in them daily. Karen loved to travel and achieved her goal to visit all 50 states. She also achieved her goal of reading the entire set of World Book Encyclopedias. In 1977 Karen and Neal purchased land in Goldendale. They built on the land, moved there in the 1990s and lived out the remainder of their lives there. Karen made many friends and liked to be involved in her community. She and her son Mark enjoyed going to the Goldendale Sentinel’s Java Talk meetings together, where they could join in discussions about current affairs in the community. Karen was preceded in death by her parents, Frank Larson and Dorothy Davis, a grandson, Rory Peak, her husband Neal Kempt, and her son Mark (Merek). She is survived by her aunt Betty Rouse-Wilmot of Maryland; sisters Sandy Maberry of Bellingham, Washington,and Susan Miller (Dan) of Marysville, Washington; brother Ralph Olson (Vickie) of Yakima, Washington; daughters Linda Jo Fluharty (Don) of Apache Junction, Arizona, fawn calvario of Mesa, Arizona, and Naomi Hunt (Phil) of Boise, Idaho; stepchildren Debbie Arvaneh (Victor) of Stafford, Virginia, and Mychal Kempt (Marlene) of Nixa, Missouri; grandchildren Sterling Fluharty, Amy Jo Hadlock, April Ashton, Adam Fluharty, Laura Fluharty, Lee Fluharty, Tammy Chenault, Steven Hodges, Benjamin Hodges, Randy Jerrels, Jared Crump, Israel Calvario, Kathy Burns, Rosie Gravatt and Liz Peak; and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. There will be a viewing for Karen on Friday, February 12, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Columbia Hills Memorial Chapel in Goldendale. A graveside service will be held at Fairmount Cemetery in Spokane, Washington, on Saturday, February 13, at 2 p.m.
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