Kestin's Corner - We're more than a brand, we're a family.

At Hempler’s we’re more than just a company. We’re a family. And recently our family had to say a very hard good-bye.

Richard “Dick” Hempler passed away on April 4th. To say he’ll be missed is an understatement – his legacy here at Hempler’s can hardly be put into words. He began his career working for his father’s small meat business, and over time grew the company into the recognizable brand it is today. But while his success in business was notable, it was his character that set him apart.

Mr. Hempler loved his family and his community. When asked about his legacy he said, “Be honest. Take care of your customers, take care of your employees. Know your product and know what it costs. Never give up. Don’t quit.” Everyone who knew him knew that he lived what he spoke.

Nobody knows a person as intimately as their family, and at Mr. Hempler’s memorial, his family shared their thoughts, reflections, and memories. It’s clear that he lived his life with authenticity and was the same person in his private life as he was here at Hempler’s.

Having the opportunity to work alongside my dad in the family business has been an amazing journey and blessing. My dad and I shared a passion and love for the meat business for over 30 years.  I had the privilege of witnessing my fathers’ vision, dreams and passion through his eyes as we worked side by side. This experience shaped me into the person I am today.

Dad, you taught me the importance of life’s many lessons, Believe in the Lord…a handshake is your word…live with passion and integrity…always extend kindness and grace to others…work hard…believe in your craft.

Your character was full of strength, intelligence, wisdom, and faith.  You led by example, showing us the way to Christ and how to follow his commandments. Dad, you have touched all of us in so many ways that only comes from God’s work in you. And now, the good work that God began in you has been completed. – Kestin (daughter)

Opa, you have been everything that I needed. You’ve been here through ups and downs, and I know that without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Every time I looked into those light blue eyes I knew how much you loved me, how much you loved God, and that you genuinely cared about me and my family. Not a day will go by that I won’t think about you and remember the memories we have. I thank God for your time with us and for every special moment we had with you. You taught us to be honest, to love with our whole heart, to have passions and follow them, and to live our lives being happy. We will love you forever. – Catie (granddaughter)

Dad, Thank you for teaching me integrity.  There are so many lessons I could choose from really, but over finding the good in all things and people, working hard for what you want and never expecting a hand out, the importance of steadfast perseverance, and so many others, I think it will be your pure and genuine integrity that will forever be the nucleus to the treasure chest of gifts you have bestowed upon me as my dad. As I have grown older I have come to respect and appreciate integrity in others above all things.   Integrity to me is always modeling honesty and doing the RIGHT thing even if it is not what YOU want or what is EASY for you in the moment. You personified those things throughout your life. Thank You! – Susan (daughter)

My Opa was a man who touched so many people’s lives in all sorts of ways. In all of us grandchildren, he prioritized finding the special, unique ways to connect with each one of us and fostered those relationships with us. He cared so much and had the biggest heart for all people. He always took the extra step to make people feel valued and cared for. – Brooklyn (granddaughter)

My Opa was my best friend. I looked up to him so much. He was the one who taught and showed me how to be a good Christian and love the Lord with all my heart and also how to hold a knife and scoop rice the right way. He always found a way to give us little lessons.

The thing I loved most about my Opa is that at the end of the day no matter what he always made you feel loved and would make sure you knew it. – Katrin (granddaughter)

My grandpa was one of my biggest supporters. In fact, that’s something my friends bring up all the time – the smile that was always on his face. My grandpa, Opa, was the most caring, hardworking, and selfless man I knew and I will forever miss seeing his face. Kenadi (granddaughter)

Mr. Hempler, your shoes are too big to fill. You’ll be truly missed. Thank you for all you gave to your family, your community, and your business. We’re all the better for having known you.

Read Mr. Hempler’s full obituary here.