Nina Kemper, 81, formerly of Freeman, MO, passed away on January 30, 2022, at KC Hospice House in Kansas City, MO. A private family burial took place at the Freeman Cemetery. There will be a celebration of life for Nina at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you follow Nina’s lead and pay it forward by donating to a charity of your choice, calling a friend or sending a card to brighten someone’s day.
Nina was born September 11, 1940, in Indianola, Iowa, to Harold Brown and Mary (Bever) Brown. She graduated from Milo High School in 1958 and attended Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, MO where she met her husband, Norvell. Nina and Norvell wed on May 21, 1960. The couple moved to Freeman in 1968 where they raised their family and resided until 2016, when they moved to Leawood, KS.
Nina worked as a typist for Richard’s Gebaur Air Force Base in Kansas City, and the Dinner Bell Restaurant in Harrisonville, yet it’s her years with Wal-Mart for which she is best known. Nina was a founding associate of the Harrisonville Wal-Mart when it opened its doors in 1975. During her 25-year career, she took on multiple responsibilities and became acquainted with many in the community. She’ll especially be remembered for helping many high school students get their first job.
Nina was an amazing wife, sister, mother, grandmother, friend, neighbor and community member. She’ll be remembered fondly for her generosity and kindness to others.
Birthdays were important to Nina and she was well known for baking her famous brownies or other sweet treats for co-worker’s and friend’s birthdays. She liked to keep in touch with her many friends through phone calls, cards, social media, etc. She never missed her high school reunions and looked forward to the Wal-Mart retiree lunches with her former co-workers.
Nina was actively involved in the Freeman community. She spent much of her time volunteering at the Freeman Presbyterian Church and the Freeman Community Club serving in many capacities. Every Sunday she mailed bulletins to church members unable to attend the service, and for those who were homebound, she would record the service. At the Community Club breakfasts or Freeman Homecoming dinners, she would be one of the first faces to greet you. She always made others feel special, welcoming acquaintances into her home for a meal or a cup of coffee.
Nina also gave her time to the students of Cass-Midway and followed many throughout their school years, including attendance at sporting events and performances.
Her husband, Norvell, referred to Nina as a celebrity, as it didn’t matter where she went, someone would always come up and say hello. It’s that celebrity “status” that led to the many invitations she received to celebrate life’s special moments. Every inch of her refrigerator was covered in photos and memories from such events.
Family meant everything to Nina. She was very supportive of her grandchildren’s interests: attending wrestling meets, baseball and softball games, dance recitals, and band/orchestra performances. Grandma loved to spoil her grandkids by taking them shopping or sneaking them money thinking that parents were unaware. Her family will miss the holiday meals, especially her brisket (better than any KC BBQ joint), meatballs, cheesy vegetable casserole and homemade desserts.
Nina had health issues throughout her life, yet it never stopped her from living life to the fullest. She was always upbeat and positive, putting the needs of others before herself.
Nina was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband, Norvell Kemper, of the home; her daughters, Kim Allnutt (Dan), Warrensburg, MO and Kay Buck (Greg), Leawood, KS; four grandchildren, Daniel, Jared and Abby Allnutt and Gabrielle Buck; two sisters, Ellen Derrough, Des Moines, IA and Lorna Kauzlarich, Ames, IA; brother, Dwight Brown, VanMeter, IA, and countless other beloved family members, including the “adopted” ones within the Freeman/Harrisonville community.