Memorial Set for Kemper

A memorial gathering for family and friends of Frank Bolton Kemper, a longtime manager with General Dynamics, will be held at 1 p.m. today at his home.

Kemper, a San Diego resident for 71 of his 79 years, died Tuesday at Sharp Knollwood Convalescent Hospital in Kearny Mesa after a heart attack, according to a family spokeswoman.

Kemper moved to San Diego with his family from Waco, Tex., in 1919. His father came to California to drill for oil in Mission Valley but, failing to find any, turned to the concrete business.

Kemper graduated from San Diego High School in 1930 and joined the Navy as a submarine radio operator. He served on the Nautilus and the Argonaut submarines until 1934.


After his military career, Kemper worked at Consolidated Aircraft and then General Dynamics. He was appointed director of electronics manufacturing at General Dynamics in 1971 and also served as general manager of Stromberg-Carlson, one of the company’s subsidiaries in Orlando, Fla., for nearly four years until he retired in 1976.

His career with General Dynamics spanned the company’s work on biplanes, building B-24 bombers during World War II and the age of the Atlas missile, satellites and space probes.

Kemper was a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the electronics commission of the Aerospace Industries Assn. He was an avid outdoorsman, held a pilot’s license, competed in trap and skeet shooting, and enjoyed deep-sea fishing off California and Mexico.

As a ham radio operator, he was one of the first to help re-establish contact with Mexico City after the devastating 1985 earthquake. He was also a member of Al Bahr Shrine, Blackmer Lodge 442, Scottish Rites and Knights Templar.


Kemper is survived by Helena, his wife of 54 years; his sister, Annette Lindsay of La Mesa; son William Scott Kemper of San Diego; daughters Cecelia Mayo of San Diego and H. Katherine Kemper Weaver of Oakton, Va., and five grandchildren.

Kemper will be cremated, and his ashes will be interred at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery on Point Loma. The family has requested that memorial donations be made to the American Heart Assn. of San Diego or to the San Diego Hospice.