Dale Arlen Kempster


Dale Arlen Kempster passed away peacefully on November 1, 2023, surrounded by loved ones. He proudly served in the Air Force from 1953 to 1957 and was in the Reserves until 1961. He was stationed in Savannah, Georgia and later Africa. He kept the transport and planes functioning at their best, and this is when he first fell in love with airplanes. He was a member of the Honor Flight of 2017. 

Dale was born in Portland Township, Illinois on February 3, 1934, to Russell and Florence (Brown) Kempster. He grew up on the farm with his seven brothers and one sister. He graduated from Spoon River Valley High School in 1952 and then worked at Caterpillar prior to joining the Air Force. He explored various business ventures throughout his life. He loved flying his small airplane, driving his Buicks, his red 1967 Ford Galaxie 500 convertible (“you can drive it, but watch the brakes!”), and his beautiful 2000 Ford F150 (“with an 8 foot bed”). Dale was very creative and loved to make things by hand such as woodworking and metalworking. He liked to build things for his family such as wagons and chairs and windchimes and was very creative and talented.  

He loved his entire family with all his heart and found so many opportunities to bring everyone together. He remained mentally sharp and positive, and told jokes to cheer people up till the very end of his time. 

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Patsy, his children Lauri (Michael) Kempster McGillivray, Steven Kempster, Christine (Michelle) Kempster-Myers, Katheryn Clark, Gregory Coffman, Jack Coffman, and Susan Dalene (Steven) Pfeiffer; grandchildren David Pruett, Tiffanie Clark, Shawn Clark, Kesey Sturdevant, Ivy Sturdevant, Alex (Ayele) Griswold, Lance Griswold, Jack Griswold, Avery Griswold, and Lucas and Kaydan Kempster-Myers; great-grandchildren Kyler Clark and Ranger Sturdevant. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, his brothers William, Richard, Kenneth, and Roger Kempster; daughter Linda Kempster, and most recently granddaughter Regan Pruett Ramp. 

Visitation will be 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 5, 2023, at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Service Abingdon Chapel. Funeral service will be 10:00 a.m. on Monday, November 6, 2023, at the chapel with Chaplain Jordan Knight officiating. Burial will be in Maquon Cemetery, Maquon, Illinois following the funeral service with military rites by the Knox County Honor Guard. Memorials may be made to the Disabled American Veterans or to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com.

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