Obituary: John Kamp

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Posted at 1:47 PM, Sep 13, 2022

John Kamp, 93, of Bozeman, MT went home to be with his Lord Sunday evening, September 11, 2022. He was surrounded by loved ones and his beloved dog, Sadie. John was born January 25, 1929, in Bozeman to John T. and Elizabeth (De Ruig) Kamp. He was the youngest of six children. He grew up in Amsterdam, attending Amsterdam School and graduating from Manhattan High School.

On April 12, 1948, he married Martha Vander Molen. They began their married life farming in Three Forks with his brother Fred. John was a Jack of all trades and moved the family to California to pursue interests in a wide array of business including restaurants, business offices, apartment complexes, and Real Estate Development—all the while continuing to farm what is now known as Wheat Montana in Three Forks. John sold the farm in 1978 and bought a Best Western Hotel in Tuscaloosa, AL. He was very proud of the fact that Coach Bear Bryant and the Crimson Tide football team held weekly media huddles in the hotel’s conference room. He thrived in this and spent the next 40 years as an innkeeper. John purchased land in numerous places such as Florida, which was eventually developed by Disney World, and as far away as Australia. He also owned a feed lot, Cal-Mont Cattle Company, in Manhattan.

John liked to stay busy and had many hobbies. He raced cars in Ontario, CA and maintained his need for speed while building airplanes in his hanger in Belgrade. He was very proud of the fact one of his planes took off at 90 mph and cruised at 200 mph. Martha was not as impressed! He collected and restored antique vehicles including an original Yellowstone tour bus. He enjoyed being driver and tour guide of the bus to friends and family who visited each year.

John was a quiet and humble man who loved the Lord. He was involved in the Billy Graham Ministries while in California and was a member of the Gideons. He helped build a church in Gardiner, MT and was part of a small group of believers who started a new church in California. He was an active member in Grace Bible Church for the past 40-plus years and was deeply blessed by the teachings and spiritual leadership of Pastor Bryan Hughes. He encouraged his children to have personal relationships with the Lord and lead his family with his actions and words. We were truly blessed to have such a strong, Christian father.

Martha passed away in 2015 after 67 years of marriage. On August 12, 2017, John married Tillie Bekendam in Bozeman. Tillie truly blessed our family and was a wonderful companion to John. We can never thank Tillie enough for all the love and care she gave to Dad. They had just celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary before John took ill. They loved to travel and visited many places including Alaska and the Holy Lands. They enjoyed many trips in Montana and surrounding states, always with Sadie the dog in tow.

John was preceded in death by his wife, Martha; two sons, Dan and Larry; his parents; sisters, Grace Bates, Elizabeth Byrd, and Gertrude Jones; and brothers, Tom and Fred Kamp.

He is survived by his wife, Tillie Kamp of Bozeman; daughters, LaVonne (Joe) Kinney of Tehachapi, CA, and Alice (Ken) VanDyke and Mary Kamp of Bozeman; grandchildren, Arianna Kamp of CA, John Kamp of Bozeman, Jennipher (Dave) Hendricks of AZ, Katya (Alex) Salazar, Nadya Warner, and Dmitri Kinney all of CA, Yuliya (Eddie) Garza of Chicago, Ryan (Justine) Vandyke of Manhattan, Mark (Sarah) VanDyke of Chester, and Kenny (Ellie) VanDyke and Ben (Kirby) VanDyke of Bozeman; he was also blessed with 19 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will take place Friday, September 16, from 6 to 8 P.M. at Dokken-Nelson. A Graveside Service will be held Saturday, September 17, at 9:30 A.M. at Churchill Cemetery, followed by a Memorial Service at Grace Bible Church at 11:00 A.M.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. []