Karen was born Sept 8, 1936 to Ivor and Carol (Smith) Kilbride at the old Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. Karen attended grade school at Longfellow and Irving School, graduating from Gallatin High School in 1954. She then attended and graduated from Kinman Business University in Spokane, WA and returned to Bozeman to work for the USDA. Karen married Kenneth Kempt of Bozeman, MT, on May 11, 1958. To that marriage were born three children, Kathryn (Stefan) Aubrey, Munich, Germany, Kimberlee (Ray) Verbrugge of Coeur D' Alene, ID and Kraig Kempt of Bozeman.
Karen was active in the women's softball league, playing first base for the Haufbrau for several years. She was also an avid skier at Bridger Bowl, and sometimes Big Sky in its early years. Summers were spent waterskiing at Canyon Ferry and hiking with the BWAG's. She also loved to golf and played league for many years at Riverside Country Club. Karen loved many sports, gardening and exploring her beloved Montana during long drives through the backroads of the countryside. She and Kenny lived in Bozeman their entire married life, but she also loved to travel and visit her daughter in various cities in Europe. She also spent winters in Mesa, AZ for months each year, enjoying the dry and arid climate. Karen was a member of the First Presbyterian Church.
Karen is preceded in death by her husband Kenny in 2004. She is survived by her sister, Sharon (Galen) Rose of Nashua, NH; her three children, Kathryn, Kimberlee and Kraig; as well as her three beloved granddaughters, Erin, Carlin and Keely Kempt, who became the "light of her life".
The family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the staff of Parkhaven Retirement, Manhattan, MT, for their dedicated and caring service over the past year and a half, and also to Hospice of Bozeman Health for their compassionate and able care during the last few months of Karen's life.
A graveside service will be held at Sunset Hills Cemetery at 9:30 A.M. on Saturday, April 24, 2021. A memorial service will follow the graveside at Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service, at 11:00 A.M. A reception will follow the memorial service at Dokken-Nelson. www.dokkennelson.com