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Shirley R. Kemp, 95, of Cavalier, ND passed away Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at the Pembina County Memorial Hospital, Cavalier, ND. Funeral service will be held Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at the Cavalier Evangelical Free Church, Cavalier, ND. Visitation at the church for one hour before the time of services on Saturday. There will also be a visitation at the church on Friday, October 4th from 5:00 p.m. to 7;00 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service at the church. Burial will be held in the Hamilton Cemetery.
Earlier this year mom set a goal for herself to bring joy to others. To those who knew her, she seemed to have been accomplishing that goal throughout all her life. The door to mom’s home was always open. There was always something good to eat, and there was seldom a day that went by that someone, family or friends, was not there to enjoy her friendship and those goodies that she ceaselessly pushed your way.
Mom’s role in life changed so much after Dad died. She had been always at Dad’s side, and it is still hard to separate them in our thoughts and memories yet she shined as her own person. She was a great mom, a great neighbor and to her grand kids, a great cook and a shoulder to lean on. When she left the farm and moved into town, her home became something on the order of Grand Central Station only busier. But there was more that drew people to mom’s home than the good cooking (and it was good cooking); it was the love she poured out on others, family, friends, and neighbors. She seemed to have the ability to see the good in others and to offer grace to all those who came her way.
If you were to visit her home you would find it full of the things she loved. Stuff bought at the Thrift Store or rescued from the curb here in Cavalier. There are flowers and lots of pink, but more than anything, there are more pictures than one can count, mostly of grand kids and great-grand kids for they were the fuel in her tank these 42 years since Dad died. And it was that bunch that filled her hospital room these past few days as we waited together for the door to Glory to be opened for her to enter through. That door to the place where the food is even better, the love unending, all tears forgotten, and the Lord Jesus Himself the Light.
Shirley Rae Svoboda was born in Hamilton, ND, on April 5th, 1924. She lived her life there until she met a dashing young man from the prairies to the east who stole her heart. She married Robert Kemp on July 14th, 1944, in Muskogee, Oklahoma, where Bob was stationed at that time. After the war they made their home on the same farm Bob had grown up on and raised their four sons: David, Don, Greg, and Bill. Through those four sons she was blessed with fourteen grandchildren and twenty great-grandchildren (with at least two more on the way…). She is survived by all of them, David and Martha and their children Katie and Adam (Jackie), Don and Becky and their children Robert (Emily), Evan (Kayla), Kyle (Liz), and Raechel (Torey), Greg and Gracie and their children Austin, Amy (Jon), Blaine (Britt), and Tyler (Kayla), Bill and Beth and their children Peter (Jess), Renae, Brent (Liz), and Melissa, and her horde of great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister Joy (Don) Bridston; sister-in-law, Grace Gunderson, and numerous nieces and nephews. Shirley was preceded in death by her husband Robert and her parents Lawrence and Maude Svoboda.