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Life Story / Obituary
Daniel Silas Kemp's struggles peacefully came to an end on November 22, 2014 at his home with his loving wife at his side.
He was born in Del Ray, Michigan to Benjamin and Dina Kemp on September 23, 1958. After graduating high school, Dan was employed in various jobs Including truck driving, construction work, and most recently as an electronics technician. Dan served his country in the US Army as a Private 2nd Class, until he was honorably discharged following a spinal cord injury. In 1998 he founded and owned Handycab Assisted Transportation Services, a local shuttle designed to transport handicapped and elderly patrons.
Daniel married Paula Jean Wiar on August 21, 2002. They enjoyed traveling together, camping, mushroom hunting, and spending time with family. Dan’s favorite pastime was off-road 4 wheeling in his navy blue customized Ford E 350 4x4 van. He used his prized possession to help others in need by snowplowing driveways and pulling stranded vehicles out of ditches. Dan’s other interests included NASCAR racing, snowmobiling and boating. He loved good movies and music.
Daniel loved children of all ages. “Uncle Dan” was a hit at all family gatherings. He gave wheelchair rides, had water balloon fights and showed “city” kids how to have fun with a water hose. In their eyes, Dan was ageless.
Daniel was known for having a generous heart and kind spirit. He faithfully supported St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and The Wounded Warrior Project. During the early years of his disability, Dan participated in many medical research and adaptation programs through U of M and The Spinal Cord Injury Unit in Cleveland, OH. He was featured on Scientific American Frontiers with Alan Alda and 20/20. His main goal was to help find a cure for future quadriplegics. Daniel was featured in a commercial in support of M.A.D.D and also spoke to high school students and troubled teens through the Third Strike Program.
Daniel leaves behind wife, Paula, daughter, Kendra Caulkins. His sisters are Diane (Bill) Davis, Donna (Steve) Skinner, Debbie (Harry) Hogg and Denise (Ken) Trader.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 29, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home in Traverse City. The family will receive friends for visitation from 12:00 noon until time of service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675.
To view Daniel’s “Life Story” in pictures, sign the guest book, and leave condolences, go to www.lifestorynet.com.ilm.