Letter to the Editor

Help Paula celebrate 99 years

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Paula Kempe will be 99 on Sunday, May 15. Perhaps you have enjoyed her monthly articles in the Southeast Missourian. Maybe you saw her on KFVS12 playing a banjo and singing "Baby Face."

You are invited to send her a birthday card. She resides at the Lutheran Home; 2825 Bloomfield Road; Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63703. I hope she will receive at least 99 cards. You are invited to come by the Lutheran Home Chapel on her birthday between 4 and 6 p.m. to wish her a happy birthday.

Paula and her twin sister, Mary, were born on Ellis Street, daughters of August Henry Kempe and Louise Katherine Bertling Kempe. Bertling Street was named after her grandfather, Lewis Bertling.

Paula's father owned a hotel in 1905 known as Kempe Corner, later known as the Idan-Ha Hotel.

Paula received a degree in 1930 from Southeast Missouri State Teachers College. She belonged to the Sorosis Literary Society, Tomahawks Pep Squad and the debate team.

Paula taught third grade at the Broadway and Lorimier schools. During summers, Paula worked at many jobs. She played banjo in an all-girls orchestra on excursion boats and for the Orpheum Theater's silent movies. She was a beauty queen at the opening of the first bridge across the Mississippi River.

Paula is currently president of the council of residents at the Lutheran home. Her closest relative is her nephew, Dr. Walter Kempe.