Sunday, April 23, 2017
3:00 PM EDT
Grace Fellowship Church
735 Buth Drive NE
Comstock Park, MI 49321
A graveside service will be scheduled at North Rudyard Cemetery - time will be announced soon.
Life Story / Obituary
Thelma Kamper was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. A faithful woman, she lived her life serving others and was richly blessed with an abundant family. A talented seamstress, she enjoyed many years sewing and making clothing and special gifts for her growing family. Known for her beautiful Soprano singing voice and her warm and generous ways, Thelma will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered for generations to come.
Thelma Bertha Kamper was born June 25, 1918 in New Era Michigan to Gerrit and Sena Kamper. Growing up in a large family in Rudyard, Michigan Thelma was the thirteenth child out of fourteen! She was quite young when her father died and each of the children learned the value of a hard day’s work by pitching in to help out on the family farm. With Polio still a real threat to several of her siblings who battled the illness, she also helped out with the household chores along with some of her other siblings. Beginning in her high school years, she put these skills to good use helping out as a housekeeper for a doctor in the Sault Ste. Marie area.
Now a young woman, Henry Kamper, a young gentleman who was adopted by her Aunt Tillie and Uncle Bert, swept her off her feet! Eventually, they married and began their family while living in Saginaw, Michigan. Later, they settled back up to the Upper Peninsula where they built a home just north of Rudyard. It was here, they filled their home with three more children! During this time, Thelma also lovingly cared for Henry’s parents. A wonderful homemaker, she relished in the everyday tasks of mothering. She was an excellent seamstress, and over the years mended many clothes as well as sewed complete outfits for herself, her children, and later her grandchildren. Thelma treasured the times of opening up her home to guests over the years and had a gift for hospitality. She was quick to invite guests for meals, whether friends, a new face at church, neighbors or even airmen from the local base. Later in life Thelma opened her home to college students. In addition to entertaining and managing a home, she had a real knack for music. When the children were younger, she often woke them on Saturday mornings with her beautiful singing voice while playing the piano! Her greatest gift was her unconditional love as a wife and mother!
After most of their children had grown and moved on, the family moved to Grand Rapids in 1968. This move brought her closer to a few of her sisters who would be great companions over the years and take good care of one another. When her loving husband, Henry passed away in 1980, Thelma leaned on her faith life and grew in her independence. During her widowed years, she spent a growing number of times with her sisters playing games, especially Scrabble. Nothing brought her greater joy, however, then the time she spent with her grandchildren! She cherished the relationships she made with each and every one of them!
A remarkable woman, her independent nature was inspiring. Eventually, she moved to Westminster Meadows for a few years before splitting her time between her two daughters, living part of the year in Traverse City and the other part in Florida. Florida later became her permanent home where she was cared for by her daughters. Thelma’s last remaining years were spent in a home where she received the best of care by caregivers who shared her deep faith.
Throughout her life, she was a woman of great faith. She was never afraid to share her faith with others and modeled living her life with integrity. Her strong faith allowed her to live without fear. She was never one to worry and trusted in her Lord and Savior. A highlight during her life was around the age of eighty, she took a memorable trip to Israel. She felt truly blessed to experience the Holy Land that she had read so much about during her life. The last song she sang in church was a meaningful hymn to her during her many experiences of loss during her life, “Until Then,” now etched on the hearts of her loved ones to cherish forever. Described as friendly, compassionate, and always happy, Thelma leaves behind a wonderful collection of memories for her family and friends to treasure for many years to come.
Thelma B. Kamper, age 98, formerly of Rudyard, Michigan and Grand Rapids, passed away in Bradenton, Florida on April 20, 2017. She was preceded in death by her husband, Henry; daughter, Janet Kamper; and son and daughter-in-law Tom and Gayle Kamper. She was also preceded in death by her 13 siblings and their spouses. Thelma is survived by her children; Richard (Barbara) Kamper, Susan (Dave) McIntyre, Lois (Sam) Miller, Vernon (Kim) Kamper and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. Her funeral service will be held on Sunday, April 23 at 3 PM at Grace Fellowship Church, 735 Buth Drive NE. Interment in North Rudyard Cemetery on Monday, April 24 at 3 PM, followed by a luncheon at Rudyard Christian Reformed Church. For those who wish, memorial contributions may be made to Anchor House - a ministry for Seafarers (13285 Eastern Ave, Palmetto, Florida 34211). To share a memory or to sign her guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com