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Ruby M. Kempf, 95, honored Red Cross volunteer

July 30, 1917 – March 30, 2013

Ruby M. Kempf, a longtime volunteer with the American Red Cross and recipient of its Clara Barton Honor Award, died Saturday in ElderWood Health Care at Lakewood, Hamburg, after a brief illness. She was 95.

Mrs. Kempf, a lifelong resident of Gowanda, was a Eucharistic minister at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Gowanda and was involved with ministry to patients at Tri-County Memorial Hospital.

Her award from the Red Cross – the highest honor it bestows on volunteers – was presented in 2010 in recognition of 25 years of meritorious leadership.

Mrs. Kempf was a founding member of the citizens committee to develop Academy Place in the former elementary school in Gowanda in the late 1990s; she stayed with the project through its completion.

“She was devoted to the idea that the building not be abandoned and boarded up,” said Irene Cross, who headed the committee.

“The first time we were having a tour [for supporters], she had the luncheon at her house – a lovely luncheon with a lace tablecloth, fine china, everything,” she added.

Mrs. Kempf also was a member of the Monday Evening Literary Club.

The daughter of the late Anton and Frances Majcen, she was born in Gowanda and in 1945 married Norman A. Kempf.

She was employed as secretary for the superintendent of Gowanda schools in the 1940s and worked as credit manager for Peter Cooper Corp. after her husband’s death in 1967.

Mrs. Kempf is survived by two daughters, Susan Kempf and Martha Scholl.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9 a.m. today in St. Joseph’s Church, 90 E. Main St., Gowanda.

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