The Curry Coastal Pilot

Gary Bernard Kempkes, 71, of Brookings, died unexpectedly Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in Crescent City, of a heart attack.

Gary was born Nov. 25, 1941, in Lincoln, Neb., to Bernard and Gertrude (Nitche) Kempkes.

Gary spent most of his career as a salesman for 32 years at Kraft General Foods in Pleasanton, Calif.

He and Marie, his wife of 25 years, moved to Brookings after his retirement in 2001.

He loved to fish, walk on the beach and read. Gary enjoyed volunteering with the Knights of Columbus breakfast, the Community Kitchen and Meals on Wheels. He also loved RV traveling and loved visiting his children and grandchildren.

Survivors include his wife Marie of Brookings; sons Brian and Shawn, both of Salem, Timothy of California; stepsons Mark and Brian, their wives Wendy and Patti; stepdaughter Jackie and her husband Christian all of California. Gary is also survived by his nephew Darren and his wife Barrie; niece Sheryl and her husband Dave and their families of California; daughter-in-law Leslie of California; and six grandchildren.

Gary was preceded in death by his son Patrick; his parents; and brothers Wayne and David.

Recitation of the Holy Rosary will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 820 Old County Road in Brookings. Mass of Christian Burial will be said at 10:30 a.m. by Rev. Luan Nguyen. A luncheon reception will be at the Star of the Sea Parish Hall. Private burial will be at W.J. Ward Memorial Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Meals on Wheels c/o Chetco Activity Center, P.O. Box 1444, Brookings, OR 97415.

Condolences may be expressed online at

Submitted by Redwood Memorial Chapel.