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Donna Mae (Kemberling) Gemperline

July 16, 1931 ~ April 3, 2021 (age 89)


Donna Mae (Kemberling) Gemperline died April 3, 2021 at The Kobacker House in Columbus Ohio.  She was born on July 16, 1931 in Lewistown Pennsylvania and was the daughter of the late Thorould (Pete) and Grace (Deamer) Kemberling.

As a young girl in Pennsylvania, Donna pursued modeling and was a contestant in the preliminary Miss Pennsylvania Pageant.  She migrated to Portsmouth, Ohio, with her parents and met her husband, Lynn, while working with Peter Kiewit during construction of the Atomic Energy Plant in Piketon.  Donna also was a Sales Associate at the Gemperline Furniture Store in Portsmouth and later worked as a Sales Associate and Public Relations Coordinator at Glockner Chevrolet.

Donna enjoyed time with many friends along her journey including vacations with friends and family, card parties, and formal dinner parties.   She had a strong sense of community and was a member of the Rosemount Garden Club winning ribbons for her arrangements at the County and State fairs.  She was also actively involved with the Pleasure Guild supporting Scioto Memorial Hospital.  Donna was a member of St. Mary’s of the Annunciation Catholic Church and enjoyed most especially her involvement with the International Festival.  She was actively involved in her children’s lives as a Girl Scout leader, Boy Scout Leader, Junior Garden Club leader, and Band Booster, never missing a band performance or basketball game.  Donna was an avid Ohio State football fan – even when the opponent was the Penn State Nittany Lions!

Donna was preceded in death by her husband, Lynn Edward Gemperline, of Portsmouth; her parents, Grace (Deamer) Kemberling and Thorould (Pete) Kemberling, and her son-in-law, Don McCarley.  She leaves behind to celebrate her life her son, Pete Gemperline and wife, Peggy (Dickerson) Gemperline, of Portsmouth; and her daughter, Kyna McCarley, of Westerville.  She was blessed with 3 grandchildren to include Dylan Gemperline (Westerville), Amber Gemperline (Long Island, NY) and Brandon Gemperline (Portsmouth), as well as 4 great grandchildren whom she adored, Skylar, Brevon, Branson and Aison.  She is also survived by a very special sister, Norita (Kemberling) Rowe, of State College, Pennsylvania and brother Neil Kemberling and wife Bonnie from the Villages, Florida, along with many loved nieces and nephews.  She also leaves behind the dearest of friends – Alyce Ann Noel, Janet Doyle, Virginia Hosey, Trudy Brushhart, and Stephanie Kendrick. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, April 7th at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Portsmouth.  A visitation for friends and family will be held at Melcher Hammer Funeral Home in Portsmouth on Tuesday, April 6th from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM with a recitation of the rosary at 7:00 PM at the funeral home.  Burial will follow at Resurrection Cemetery in Lewis Center Ohio at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kobacker House Inpatient Hospice Care Center in Columbus.



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April 6, 2021

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Melcher Hammer Funeral Home
1417 Offnere Street
Portsmouth, OH 45662

Mass of Christian Burial
April 7, 2021

10:00 AM
Holy Redeemer Catholic Church (Portsmouth)

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