John Kemper

John William Kemper, 66, of Donnellson, Iowa, passed away at 4:14 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, 2024, at the Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center in Fort Madison, Iowa.

He was born on October 10, 1957, in Keokuk, Iowa, the son of Delbert Lee, Jr. and Dorothy Maxine (Stowe) Kemper. On April 20, 1991, he married Mindy Jane Wilcox in Donnellson, Iowa.

He is survived by his wife: Mindy; daughter: Holly (Rob) Conlee of Ankeny, Iowa, their children: Nicholas and Caitlyn Conlee; son: Shawn (Erica) Kemper of West Point, Iowa, their children: Kyle, Kaiden and Arabel Kemper; son: Shane Kemper of West Point, Iowa, his children: Hailey, Ronin and Abrahm Kemper; daughter: Katelynn (David) Snook of Donnellson, Iowa, their children: Abby Snook, Alayna Figert, Reagan Figert and Ethan Snook; siblings: Kevin (Val) Kemper of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, Leea (Joe) Brown of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, Angie (John) Haley of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa and Cheryl (Kevin) Elmore of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two children: Jessica Lee and Lucas Richard.

John was a 1977 graduate of Central Lee High School, where he played basketball. He served in the United States Navy. He worked as a correctional officer for the Iowa State Penitentiary for thirty years retiring in 2012. In 1987, John was awarded “Outstanding Correctional Officer of the year.” He was the longest sitting President of AFSCME Local #2989, where he negotiated several state contracts for the Union. He was named Honorary Colonel of the Iowa State Militia by Governor Vilsak in 2003. John enjoyed attending the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion, attending gun shows (as he was a gun enthusiast), hunting, fishing, watching basketball, riding his bike, wood working, eating sweets and drawing stick figures on notes to his family. He was an avid selfie taker, of which he would then send to family and friends. Most of all, John loved spending time with all of his family, especially his children and grandchildren whom he was very proud of.

A visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, April 6, 2024, at Donnellson United Methodist Church in Donnellson. A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, April 6, 2024, at the church with Pastor Padma Templeton officiating.

A celebration of life will be held at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, April 14, 2024, at the Lee County Fairgrounds Learning Center in Donnellson.

A memorial has been established in his memory for the Tri State Gun Club for gun safety training.

Schmitz Funeral Home of Donnellson is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made to the family at