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Kenneth Hempel

Kenneth Albert Hempel died June 9, 2022, at Roosevelt Medical Center in Culbertson.

He born Dec. 27, 1941, in St. Paul, Minn., to Albert B. Hempel and Florence Moon. His father was killed in World War II when Kenneth was three and his brother Bob was two.

He was drafted into the Army after high school. At that time, he had an option to go to Vietnam or Germany. He chose Germany. While the U.S. soldiers were marching through the forest in Germany, he fell into a tunnel used by the Nazis during World War II.

He met Diane Krahn at the Toni Company in St. Paul, Minn., where they both worked. He wanted to take Diane to the bar after work. She said, 'No. Come to church with me.' He went to the church and soon accepted Christ as his Savior. Later, he gave out Gospel tracts and prayed for people.

He and Diane were married Aug. 16, 1968, in her hometown church in Wolf Point.

Back to Kenyon, Minn., the couple bought a farm, a dream of his. They raised a variety of fowl and other animals. Their land had rich soil, and there was already a big strawberry patch, rhubarb plants, berry bushes and pine trees. The sold the farm and moved to Poplar. He took a job as a cook at the Detox Center. When the school lunch supervisor position became available, he took it and baked buns and cinnamon rolls from scratch.

As the years went by, he decided to start his own bakery. Diane was already baking and decorating cakes at home, so they rented a building and opened a bakery. However, because the landlord did not want to fix the roof and it began to cave in, they were forced to close the bakery. After that, he did some restaurant cooking.

Later in life, he and Diane took the beginning computer course at Fort Peck Community College which he found challenging.

He is survived by his wife, Diane S. Krahn Hempel; children, Natalie Hempel Keiser, Kevin Hempel, Justin Hempel, Derek Hempel, Rachel Hempel Czaplewski, Stephanie Hempel Jones, Sarah Hempel and Julie Hempel Martin; 26 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren and two on the way; and brother, ‘Bob’ Albert Hempel.

He was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Leslie Keiser; and his great-granddaughter, Evangeline Stancliff.

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