William Paul “Willie” Kempenski

A local business owner, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend to many has passed from this life and into his eternal reward in faith on Sunday, September 4, 2016 in his home at the age of 74. The family will receive guests on Thursday, September 8, 2016 at St Joseph Catholic Church between the hours of 6 – 9pm with a rosary being recited at 730p. A Funeral Mass to honor a life of Christian Service will be at 11am, Friday, September 9, 2016 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, officiated by Reverend Monsignor John A. McCaffrey. Interment will follow in Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery. Services are in the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral and Cremation Centers Bryan – College Station.

William Paul Kempenski was born March 4, 1942 to Floyd and Rose Slenk Kempenski in Bremond, TX. He was the owner and operator of Hillcrest Food Store for a number of years where the Famous Willie Burger was created. After retiring from the grocery store business, he managed the Ptarmigan Club for late friend Luke Cemino. He was devoted husband to his wife, Virgie Okonski Kempenski, with whom he would have celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary on Monday, September 5, 2016. In this union of holy matrimony they were blessed with three wonderful children Jacqueline Ann, Jennifer Marie and Jason Willie. Willie enjoyed the great outdoors. He was an avid hunter and fisherman with his family and host of close friends. Willie was a member of St Joseph Catholic Church for over 52 years. Willie served as a Eucharistic Minister for many years. He is a past member of the Knights of Columbus Council 11759. Willie donated many hours in serving on committees in Bryan College Station area, especially those involving the youth. He and his wife believed in the importance of spending time with family. These volunteer efforts lead him to becoming involved with and known was the Head Chef for the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, a local auction support group at the Brazos County Youth Livestock Show. Willie was known for and responsible for the Fried Fish Dinner on Friday each year during the livestock show. Plans are already being made to award a scholarship in Willie’s memory for the 2017 show. Willie served as a coach for both Jackie and Jennifer’s softball teams with the Bryan North Little League Organization. He has been an avid supporter and season ticket holder for Bryan Viking Football since Jason played during his high school years. Willie was also a season ticket holder for Texas Aggie Baseball for many years and his support for the Aggie Baseball Program culminated in 1999 when he and late friend Paul Emola embarked a two week RV Road Trip to Omaha and the College World Series. Although the Aggies didn’t win the championship that year, it was a trip he reminisced about for many years. Willie had remained in contact with his favorite players from that 1999 team via Facebook.

Preceding him in death are his parents Floyd and Rose Kempenski and a brother, Richard Kempenski.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Virgie Okonski Kempenski; his daughters Jackie and husband Darryl Slovacek of Snook, Jennifer and her husband Joey Slovacek of College Station, and son Jason Kempenski and wife Jackie of Bryan; brothers Larry Kempenski, John Kempenski and wife Diane of Bremond; sister Lucille Collins and husband Lonnie of Bryan, and sister Phyllis Barker of Bryan; sister in-law Charlene Okonski Broome; five grandchildren Mason and Morgan Hein, Dylan Slovacek and Brighton Slovacek and William “Finn” Kempenski and his beloved great-grand pet Si Martin.

Family and friends honoring his life as pallbearers are Mason Hein, Dylan Slovacek, Michael Okonski, Craig Okonski, Shannon Pruitt, Jason Pruitt, Frank Kuzniarek Jr., Daniel Krueger, Keith Toomer, Randy Collins, and Rick Korger. Honorary pallbearers are Jim Bennett, William Korger, Lonnie Collins, Bill Broome, Alvin Zemanek, Roland Harrison, Johnny Lampo, Marvin Bielamowicz, and ALL his morning coffee buddies over these last few years.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made in his memory to either St Joseph Church or Traditions Hospice.

You may also express condolences at www.callawayjones.com/william-p-kempenski/


  1. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. May your faith , love and wonderful memories shared with him replace some of the grief and loss you feel today and the days and years to come.

    Leanne Harrison Nelson (Lou)

  2. My thoughts and prayers are with each of you Vergie and Jennifer. May God give you peace at this time of great sadness.

  3. So sorry for your loss. Look back on the great memories. Laugh,cry, and grieve Remember his love for his family. Lean on your faith and the Lord for strength. Prayers and hugs.

  4. This has to be difficult for Williams family and friends to deal with, but I hope you all can comfort and console one another. Isaiah 61:2 says that Gods spirit can comfort all who mourn. Please allow his spirit to comfort you all through prayer.

  5. To Jackie and the Kempenski family, my deepest sympathies are with you and your family at this time of grieving.
    Thinking of you with sympathy,
    Trent Bomnskie

  6. I feel so blessed to have reconnected with your family Virgie. For whatever reason, we were meant to cross paths again at yet another special time. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  7. It was an honor and privilege to know Mr. Kempenski and to share the last few years of his journey with you all — he will be missed, to say the least. Grace and peace unto you and your family.

  8. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. May the love you have for each other and your faith and trust in the Good Lord bring you some peace in this time of sorrow.

  9. What a great person and friend. Karen and I always enjoyed being with your family throughout the years. It was always a fun time when Willie was in the crowd. I will never forget the men get togethers at Lonnie’s farm about 32 years ago .We would BBQ and play cards and shoot dice all day and night. The most fun was being at the same table with Willie because you were going to laugh and have fun the whole time. I will never forget those times. Karen and I will miss Willie very much. I’m sorry we will not be able to make the service because we are out of state on vacation. Virgie, we will be thinking of you during this hard time. Take care.

  10. God Bless you and your family during this difficult time. Ya’ll are such giving individuals and we appreciate everything your family does for our community. When your heart is breaking so is ours; sending you our love. Pam Gerry and Haley Carter

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