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Dr. Bernard P. Kemker Sr., age 91, of Jasper, Indiana, passed away at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 22, 2024, at Northwood Good Samaritan Retirement Community in Jasper.

Bernard was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on December 19, 1932, to John Edward and Kate Lorraine (Perkins) Kemker. He married Ellen Stark on November 28, 1957, at St. James Catholic Church in Louisville, Kentucky. She preceded him in death on July 24, 2012. He married Carolyn Sue Schepers on May 23, 2015, in St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper.

Bernard graduated from Western Kentucky State College in 1955, and the University of Louisville Medical School in 1959. He did his internship at St. Joseph Infirmary in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1961, Bernard opened a family practice for four years in Tell City, Indiana. Later, he served in the United States Army Medical Corps for two years with the rank of Major. He completed his residency in General Surgery at the University of Iowa in 1970 and opened his medical surgery practice in Jasper until he retired 27 years later.

He was a member of the Diplomat of the American Boards of Surgery, American College of Surgeons, Society of the American Gastro-Intestinal Endoscopic Surgeons, Diocesan member of the Bishops Pastoral Council, American Legion Post #147, and a Eucharist Minister of St. Joseph Catholic Church.

He was a former president of the Dubois County Medical Society, the Indiana-Kentucky Medical Review Organization, and the Jasper Community Arts Commission.

Bernard enjoyed sitting on the front porch and watching the birds. Every morning, he ate breakfast at Denny’s. He enjoyed watching movies, walking on the Jasper River Walk, and reading mystery and science fiction novels. In his younger years, he was a reluctant bridge card player. He enjoyed fishing, gardening, nature, and being outside. He loved his work as a physician. He had a passion for helping and healing others.

He is survived by his wife; Carolyn Sue Kemker, Jasper, Indiana, two daughters; Dr. Susan Kemker (Dr. Alvin Pam), White Plains, New York, Kate Kemker (Kaaren Fox), Chicago, Illinois, five sons; Dr. Bernard (Janice) Kemker Jr, Rocky Mount, North Carolina, David (Diane) Kemker, Los Angeles, California, Dr. Stephen (Dr. Kalen Carty) Kemker, Salem, Indiana, Ken (Audrey) Kemker, Hillham, Indiana, daughter-in-law; Denise Kemker, Huntingburg, Indiana, four step-daughters; Diane (Richard) Denk, Jasper, Indiana, Patricia Welp, Jasper, Indiana, Rebecca Schepers, Jasper, Indiana, Jennifer Schepers, Bloomington, Indiana, 13 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Bernard is preceded in death by one son; Michael Kemker, and two brothers; John E. Kemker and Dr. Francis J. Kemker.    

A Mass of Christian Burial for Dr. Bernard P. Kemker Sr., will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, at St. Joseph Catholic Church with burial to follow in Fairview Cemetery in Jasper. The American Legion Post #147 will conduct military graveside rites.

A visitation will be held from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27, 2024, at the Becher Kluesner Downtown Chapel.  

The family would like to thank the staff at Northwood Good Samaritan Retirement Community and Heart-to-Heart Hospice for their loving care and compassion during his final days.  

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph Catholic Church, the Stephen Ministry of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center, or the Northwood Good Samaritan Retirement Community.  

Online condolences may be made at

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