Anita Marie (Murphy) Kemper
Anita Marie Murphy Kemper was born on June 9, 1920, to Mary Gladys Jones and Ernest Thurman Murphy in Ashland, Mo. She died peacefully in her sleep at The Fremont, in Springfield, Mo., March 16, 2019.
Anita went to school in Columbia, at Hickman High School. While in school she participated in many activities and groups, but one favorite was the Library Club. Her high school yearbook was even signed by Sam Walton (founder of Walmart), who asked her for a date, which she declined. After Anita graduated from high school, she attended Stephens College in Columbia, and also attended the University of Missouri in Columbia, where she earned a degree in library science.
Anita met Arthur Lee Kemper at the Methodist Church in Columbia, Mo., while he was at the University of Missouri earning a degree in electrical engineering. They married in 1943 and soon moved to Washington, D.C., so Art could work for the government as an engineer during World War II. In 1955, they moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Art was working for Collins Radio. In Marion, Anita was active in their church, the First Presbyterian Church, and in the community at large, being a leader in the Camp Fire Girls and Boy Scouts. Some of her fondest memories were the fishing trips to Canada and the vacations in Minnesota with her family. When the children grew up a little, she went to work at the Marion Library, where she was the children's librarian. When Art retired from Collins Radio in 1970, they purchased the Witthaus Resort on Indian Point, south of Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo. There Anita was an active part of running the resort and was also part of the Indian Point Women's Club. After they sold the resort, Anita stayed active by working at Silver Dollar City in the Tintype and Candy Shops for several seasons. Anita moved to Culpepper Place a few years after Art's death in 2000, and lately has been residing at The Fremont in Springfield, Mo.
Anita is survived by her sister, Beverly Kahler (Richard); children, Judy Gale (Frank) of Creston, Iowa, Jan Ward (David) of Independence, Mo., and Ken Kemper of Anamosa, Iowa; five grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur Lee Kemper; parents; her son-in-law, David Ward; and two grandchildren, Lani Marie Ward and Brandon Douglas Gale.
No services or visitation will be held. Internment will be at the New Salem Church Cemetery in Ashland, Mo., at a date to be determined.