Funeral for St. Louis Fire Capt. John Kemper brings touching tri - KMOV.com

Funeral for St. Louis Fire Capt. John Kemper brings touching tributes

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Fire Captain John Kemper (St. Louis Fire Department) Fire Captain John Kemper (St. Louis Fire Department)
St. Louis Fire Department trucks line the street for fallen Capt. John Kemper (Credit: St. Louis Police / Fire Department) St. Louis Fire Department trucks line the street for fallen Capt. John Kemper (Credit: St. Louis Police / Fire Department)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Family, friends, fellow public servants and first-responders gathered today to say their goodbyes to a long-time St. Louis firefighter.

Captain John Kemper died from complications resulting from an injury while fighting a fire on July 5th.

Captain Kemper was remembered as a man who loved the fire department and loved being a firefighter.

“John would assist and provide protection putting the health and safety of others above all else, including his own well-being,” said St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson.

Kemper's sister Linda Stapleton read a touching tribute from his daughter at the service, saying, “there's one thing he did better than working on cars or houses or even being a firefighter and that was being an amazing father and grandfather.”

Kemper’s daughter recalled being a 12-year-old girl in 1993 and while her father was going through the fire academy she would help him study, including learning the locations of fire houses in St. Louis.

“He was adamant that Enright started with a 'N',” the letter read. “We laughed so hard there were tears in his eyes. Years later I would say ‘Enright with an 'N.’' That was our own little inside joke.”

It was said that one of Kemper's proudest moments in his life was when he made captain.

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was on hand as well, offering words of encouragement to the gathered mourners.

“Let's all [strive] in our own lives to live up to John's example of courage and sacrifice that are embodied in the life that he lived for all of us.”

Kemper worked as a firefighter for 24 years. Before that he worked with the St. Louis Water Department.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made to BackStoppers or the Midwest Children's Burn Camp.    

The visitation will be July 20 from 3-8 p.m. at the administration building at Harris Stowe State University.

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