JoAnne Jacobs Kemper, 86, of Sheridan, WY, passed away Sunday, June 25, 2017 at the Rock Creek Rehabilitation Center in Sheridan Manor surrounded by her loving friends and family. She was born June 4, 1931 at St. Joseph Hospital in Alliance, NE to Alfonzo and Lora (Speer) Jacobs.
JoAnne grew up on a farm near Fort Robinson where she spent her time helping raise her brothers and sisters, doing chores and riding horses.
Growing up, she loved music and dancing and enjoyed jitterbugging to big band music. She was also determined to get an education at a time when women were not encouraged to do so. She eventually moved to town so she could go to school.
She graduated from Crawford High School in Crawford, NE in 1948. After graduation JoAnne went to work as a dental assistant until her marriage to Jack Bruer in 1949. For a while, she lived in St. Louis, Missouri while Jack attended school. After returning to Crawford, she and Jack were blessed with two sons, John David and William Bernard. Jack passed away in 1958 while JoAnne was employed at the Crawford Memorial Hospital as a laboratory and X-Ray technician.
On Dec. 1, 1960 she married Keith Kemper in Denver, CO while still living in Crawford, NE. Keith was working as manager of the local newspaper at the time. JoAnne and her family moved to Alliance in 1962, where Keith worked as a business manager for the Alliance Times Herald. Later, he became the publisher after his father’s death. In 1987, JoAnne and Keith moved to Sheridan, WY where he worked at the Sheridan Press as the business manager and publisher until his death in 1996.
JoAnne was a loving, dedicated mother and homemaker. She embodied a deep faith and love of life. JoAnne will be remembered for the countless lives she touched. Some of her favorite things were cooking, large family gatherings and the joy of laughing. JoAnne was a life member at the Sheridan County Hospital Auxiliary, Box Butte General Auxiliary in Alliance, NE and also, the Alliance Public Library. She was a member of Republican Women’s Association, Sheridan Memorial Hospital Foundation, and the First Presbyterian Church in Sheridan, WY where she was a member of Circle 3. The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Rock Creek Rehabilitation Center for all the loving care JoAnne received.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Keith, son, John David Kemper, sister, Lois Westcott, three brothers, Howard, Donald and infant, Kenneth. JoAnne is survived by her son, William B. Kemper of Sheridan, WY; grandsons, Daniel (Heather) Kemper and Thomas Kemper and two great grandsons, Jackson and Ben Kemper all of New York; sister, Edna Collins of Oracle, AZ; and her devoted and loving caregiver of nearly 10 years, Rubyjean Hudson of Sheridan, WY.
Come celebrate the life of JoAnne at 2:00 PM Sunday, July 30, 2017 at First Presbyterian Church, 2121 Colonial Dr. in Sheridan with Pastor Paul Hayden officiating. Reception to follow in the Fellowship Hall. A gathering for family and friends will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, August 5, 2017 at the Alliance Cemetery in Alliance, Nebraska with Pastor Jay Kim officiating. Reception will follow at the First Presbyterian Church, 515 Emerson Ave. in Alliance, NE. The family requests, in the spirit of celebration, that dress for both occasions be casual.
Memorial contributions may be made in JoAnne’s honor to: The First Presbyterian Church, 2121 Colonial Dr., Sheridan, WY 82801 and the Keith Kemper Memorial Scholarship, Chadron State Foundation, PO Box 1210, Chadron, NE 69337. Online condolences may be written at www.championfh.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Champion Funeral Home.