Peter died August 11, 2014, at home with his wife Kathy by his side. Peter was born in Detroit March 5, 1943 to Edward and Helen Kempel. He was currently of DeWitt, MI.

He is survived by his wife Kathy, his aunt Mary Lee Moon and cousin Margaret Demaggio.

Growing up in the Detroit area, he started his school years going to Christ the King School. He went to high school at Salesian High School run by the Oblates of St. Francis DeSales and then went on to receive a degree in philosophy and political science at the University of Detroit. While at U of D he was very active in theatre and was a member of the Players where he met his wife Kathy and made many good and lasting friendships.

He continued his education completing a degree in library science at U of M and then a degree in law at the University of Detroit Law School.

Peter and Kathy married December 31, 1971 and moved to Lansing, Michigan where he worked for the Michigan Court of Appeals as a research attorney. In 1972 he started his long career of 40 years as a professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

During their 42 years together Peter and Kathy made many good and true friends. They also shared a love of animals giving a home to dogs, cats, a grouchy parrot and a friendly turtle. From the early ‘90s to the end of his life Peter and Kathy shared their love of horses and riding with a close community of fellow horse lovers at Fox Brush Farm in DeWitt. Kathy is now sure that he is trail riding his beloved mare Dicey Riley.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 21, 2014, at St. Therese of Lisieux Parish, 102 W. Randolph, Lansing, MI. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the Mass at the church on Thursday. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Peter’s name to the American Cancer Society, in hopes that research will someday find a treatment for pancreatic cancer, the Capital Area Humane Society, the Ingham County Animal Shelter, Beekman Therapeutic Riding Center or the charity of your choice. Online condolences may be left for the family at

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14 Messages to “Peter Michael Kempel”

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  1. 14
    Jim Sampson Says:

    Dear Kathy,

    Have so many remarkable memories of Peter at the Players, and the long philosophical musings in the Green Room. Lost track after U of D, but over the years, would hear his laughter and Chestertonian wit from out of the sky. All the best to you.

    Jim Sampson
    Players 1963-67

  2. 13
    Susan Richard Says:

    Dear Kathy,

    I am sad for your loss and my heart goes out to you. Your Husband sounded like an amazing and wonderful man. May years of wonderful memories bring you peace.


  3. 12
    Benita Duncan Says:

    Dear Kathy,

    Cisco, the girls and I send our heartfelt condolence. You and Peter have a warm place in my heart and I want you to know how truly sorry I am for your loss. We are praying God will keep you and see you through this difficult time.

    Love, Cisco, Benita, Madison and Kennedy

  4. 11
    Colleen Tvorik Says:

    Dear Kathy – I am so sorry to hear that Peter has passed away. I’ve always thought of you both as one of my surrogate sets of parents that kept me on the straight and narrow… I have such fond memories of Peter – he always had a twinkle in his eye and a smile to light up the room. I’m truly sorry for your loss – please know I’m thinking of you.

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