2003 Friends Recipient
The Kemper Family
The Danish Festival Days Committee awarded the first “Friends of Viborg Award” during Danish Festival Days July 18, 19 and 20, 2003. The first recipient of the award was the family of Dr. Carlos E. and Elinor Kemper. Dr. Carlos Kemper was instrumental in establishing Viborg as the medical center of Turner County. Accepting the award on behalf of their parents were Dr. Carlos Kemper, Mary Ann Larsen and Louise Dalton.
The Kemper’s first came to Viborg in July of 1937 taking over the medical practice of Dr. George H. Stidworthy, who had been a doctor in Viborg for over 40 years. The first three years after arriving in Viborg, Dr. Kemper practiced in the old Stidworthy office above Keller Drug. It soon became apparent that for the medical practice and the community to grow and prosper a hospital and clinic would be needed. Subsequently, the Viborg Clinic and Hospital was established in the old Stidworthy residence on Main Street. By the mid 1950’s, it was apparent that the hospital / clinic format had to be changed. With a tremendous amount of community support, hard work, and multiple pledges, Pioneer Memorial Hospital became a reality in 1959. Today, Pioneer Memorial serves all of Turner County with medical facilities in Parker, Centerville and Viborg.
Dr. Kemper was active in the community, in the church and his profession. Dr. Kemper’s interest outside of his medical practice included being mayor of
Viborg, the president of the Lions Club and director of the First Baptist Church choir. Elinor remained busy raising their three children, working with the PTA and staying active in church work. Dr. Carlos E. Kemper passed away on August 27, 1975. Elinor Kemper passed away on November 29, 1995.
The Kemper family was recognized at the Leadership Luncheon held on Friday, July 18, 2003 at Pioneer Memorial Hospital & Health Services. The Kemper family also served as honorary parade marshals for the Danish Days parade on Saturday, July 19, 2003. The ladies of the First Baptist Church hosted a public reception for the Kemper family on Saturday, July 19, 2003, in the school lunchroom.
Mayor Chuck Kludt and the Danish Days Committee presented the “Friends of Viborg Award” to the Kemper family during the closing ceremony on Sunday, July 20, 2003.