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Donald Henry VanKempen


1940 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Donald Henry VanKempen Obituary
Donald Henry Van Kempen

Don "Lumpy" Van Kempen, of Vista, CA. passed on peacefully at his home with his family by his side on the morning of May 5th, 2018 at the age of 77. Don, the son of Harold Van Kempen and Anna May Batchelor, the loving former husband of Kenlon Carlson and Emily Carron, found peace at last after a long battle. He is survived by his 3 children and 6 grandchildren; Jeffrey Coldon (Austin & Kimberly), Carlee Cayton (Savannah), and Dallas Van Kempen (Drake, Elle, & Declan), and his 3 siblings, Jay Van Kempen, Diane Van Kempen, and John "Jerry" Carey, all of whom he loved and cared for very much. Don's family was his lifelong priority.

Don was born in Union City, New Jersey in 1940 and lived in Jersey City until 1952 when his family moved to Ridgewood, New Jersey. He left Ridgewood High School early in 1957 to begin work but graduated with his Class.

After High School, he worked multiple jobs at the same time, when necessary, to support his family, including successes at Village Ford and the Ducksberry Insurance Agency. He became a Licensed Underwriter, and owned his own Insurance Agency. He also opened his own Gym in the town of Ridgewood, which was a concept ahead of its time, and engaged in multiple other business interests. According to Don, he moved to California in 1966 mostly because he hated the New Jersey weather. Originally settling in Los Angeles, he moved his family to Del Mar in 1976. Don also spent significant happy years in Encinitas and Vista.

He loved sports and enjoyed playing, watching, discussing, and wagering on them. He played football at Ridgewood High School and spent a short time with the Titans of New York (who later became the NFL's New York Jets) as a Defensive End prior to their entry into the American Football League.

He was an Entrepreneur and businessman in the State of California for over 50 years, starting several businesses there. Don's impressive work ethic resulted in a large personal role in the development of Construction Testing Services as an industry in California. He later founded a horse & pet grooming products company, whose concept was again ahead of its time. His love of Thoroughbred Race Horses resulted in a long career as an owner and breeder, starting in the 1960's and was culminated by multiple performances and wins in Breeders Cup and Grade I Stakes races. His passing on the morning of Kentucky Derby Day was significant and welcome. We are sure he was comforted by it.

He was an extremely generous and fun loving man to all he met. His sense of humor was unique and very special. He will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.

A prayer will be held at Calvary Chapel of Vista on June 14, 2018 at 3:00pm, followed by a Celebration of Life Service and respite beginning at 4:30pm at The Vista Optimist Club, 600 Optimist Way, Vista, CA 92081. For information call (760) 803-0222.
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