Cover photo for Margaret L. Kemple's Obituary
Margaret L. Kemple Profile Photo
1934 Margaret 2021

Margaret L. Kemple

May 28, 1934 — October 23, 2021

ROCHESTER- The funeral for Margaret L. Kemple, 87, will be 11:00 a.m. Friday, October 29, 2021 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Rochester with burial at Oakwood Cemetery. Mrs. Kemple died Saturday (October 23, 2021) at Cottagewood Senior Communities in Rochester. She had suffered a second broken hip in sixty days and did not recover from her injury and subsequent surgery. Margaret Lucille (Tollefsrud) Kemple, youngest daughter of ten children of George T. Tollefsrud and Selma Marian (Herbranson) Tollefsrud, was born on May 28, 1934, in the village of Caledonia, Houston County, MN. She was baptized at Trinity Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Spring Grove, MN. on July 26, 1934. She lived on the family farm north of Mabel, MN. until the death of her mother in April of 1935. Margaret and four of her youngest siblings, went to live with and were raised by their maternal grandparents, Helmer and Isabeth Herbranson. She attended grade school at Rotvold Country School southeast of Hesper, IA. Upon moving to Decorah, IA., she was later confirmed at First Lutheran Church and completed her education in Decorah. In 1948, she and one sister, grandmother and maternal uncle moved to Spring Valley, MN. where she later met her future husband. On April 30, 1950, she was united in marriage to Richard (Dick) Charles Kemple at The First Congregational Church in Spring Valley, MN. They made their home there until moving to Rochester, MN. on October 1, 1952. They became communicant members of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church on November 10, 1957. Upon moving to Rochester, she helped open the new Donaldson's Department Store and later, went on to work at the new Dayton's Department Store in Downtown Rochester. She was a Dept. Head in Coats and Suits, and at that time, a very specialized department in women's clothing known as the "Oval Room." During her time in retail, she developed a very innate sense of style that was apparent all the rest of her years. She was always known for looking like she just stepped out of a fashion magazine. Her sense of style, along with her beautiful, natural platinum hairdo, became her trademark. Her grandchildren would recall that they could always find her in the packed pews at church, because her beautiful hair stood out in a crowd. In the summer of 1967, she and her husband started their new environmental business, White House Service, Inc., which was portable chemical restrooms for construction sites and special events, serving the tri-state area. Margaret ran the business office side of their new venture. They sold their business in 1983. From 1984 to 1988 she and her daughter, Migon, owned and operated The Cookie Canister Stores at Apache Mall and Barclay Square. Then, in May of 1989, Margaret and her husband started Action Portable Services, Inc. resuming business in the portable restroom industry. They sold that business and retired in September of 1993. They spent thirteen winters at their home in Apache Junction, AZ. Margaret loved entertaining family and friends in AZ. She and her husband, Dick, enjoyed hosting parties and attending many big band dances, where they would take to the dance floor with their beautiful mastery of ballroom dancing. They also enjoyed ten years of camping and boating at the Ponderosa Campground, on Lake Zumbro in MN. Her pride and joy were her immediate and extended family. She loved the time spent with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews. Family was always very important to Margaret. Mrs. Kemple is survived by a daughter, Migon (Lynn) Broadwater and a son, Greg (Janet) Kemple, both of Rochester, 5 grandchildren; Michelle (Zachary Gappa) Broadwater Gappa of Rochester, MN, Michael Broadwater of West Concord, MN, Lindsay (Paul) Nash of Duluth, MN, Brittany (Joshua) Hayes of Surprise, AZ, and Kristina (Donald) Tran of Rochester, MN; a step-grandson; Robert (Michelle) Stellick of Colorado Springs, CO, great-grandchildren; Cole Gappa, Grace Gappa, Keegan Guinee, Jordan Broadwater-Appleby, Harper Hayes, Oliver Tran and Hunter Tran; step-great-grandchildren: Sophia Nash, Anna Stellick and Emily Stellick; a sister-in-law, Mrs. Joan Kemple of New Braunfels, TX, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Richard, on July 4, 2007; three brothers and their wives, Truman and Beth Tollefsrud, Gilman and Irene Tollefsrud, Charles and Lucille Tollefsrud; six sisters and their husbands, Donna and George Kruse, LuVerne and Raymond Hegland, Gloria and Bernie Lind, Florence and Milo Headington, Inga and Duane Halverson, and Delores and Robert Armstrong. Brother-in-law Bernard Kemple and Sister-in-law Mary Lou Shobe and husband, Ronald Shobe. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 pm Thursday, October 28, 2021 at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home in Rochester, and an hour before the service Friday at the church. Memorials are preferred to Norwegian Projects/Decorah Genealogy Assoc. Library at Decorah, Iowa or designated to Mayo Clinic Rochester for Dementia/Alzheimer's Research. Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Kemple family; to share a special memory or condolence please visit
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, October 28, 2021

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes

5421 Royal Pl NW, Rochester, MN 55901

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Friday, October 29, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church

1212 12th Ave NW, Rochester, MN 55901

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