Joseph Michael Kamp, 94, of Bridgman passed away at his home on March 8, 2022 surrounded by his loving, caring family. He is now at peace in heaven with his Lord and beloved wife, Virginia, and family members who went before him.
A funeral service will be held at 11 AM on Monday, March 21, 2022 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 9650 N. Church Street, Bridgman, with Reverend Pastor Ed Meyer, officiating. Friends may meet with the family from 2-4 PM on Sunday, March 20, 2022 at Pike Funeral and Cremation Services, Boyd Chapel, 9191 Red Arrow Hwy, Bridgman. Burial will be in Graceland Cemetery, Bridgman. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Immanuel Lutheran Church, PO Box 26, Bridgman, MI 49106, Hospice at Home, 4025 Health Park Lane, St. Joseph, MI 49085, or Bridgman American Legion Post 331, 4241 Legion Street, Bridgman, MI 49106. Online condolences accepted at www.PikeFH.com.
Joe was born April 4, 1927 in Highland Park, MI to Teresa (Wilwerth) and Michael Kamp. He was a 1945 graduate of Bridgman High School, senior class president, and member of the 1945 basketball state championship team. After graduation, Joe enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune, NC and was honorably discharged on July 29, 1946. He married Virginia (Jinnie) R. Panzer on September 13, 1944 and they were sweethearts for 72 years.
Dad had an amazing work ethic, many times working two jobs to support his family. He began his long career in the die casting business at Pemco Die Cast Corporation with several entry-level jobs in general maintenance, working up to die cast machine operator, and then manager of the zinc and aluminum die cast department. In 1965, Joe, along with a partner and co-worker, purchased Hermel Die Casting in Eau Claire, MI which he owned and successfully operated for over fifty years with his sons, Joe Jr. and Ken Kamp. Over the years, he earned the respect, trust, and admiration of his customers, employees, and competitors. Joe enjoyed the camaraderie of many local die cast company owners who also started out at Pemco.
Rarely do you meet someone in life who is always positive, loving, kind, and caring to friends, family, employees, and acquaintances. He was never about himself, instead always generous, giving, caring, and supporting those who looked to him for help. He was fun-loving, enjoyed music, especially Frank Sinatra, and loved dancing. Joe and Jinnie were fixtures at the D’Agostino’s Navajo Restaurant almost every Saturday night, and were affectionately known as the “Navajo Dancers.” For over fifty years, he enjoyed golfing in the Wednesday night men’s league at Pebblewood Country Club. Joe was fond of watching a different sunset every night from his Lake Michigan home, and his time spent in Florida with their many friends, enjoying the beach on Boca Grande. Top on his list of favorites was attending the sporting events of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He leaves behind a wonderful legacy of the things he taught us, and what we learned from how he lived his life that will be with us forever.
As a faithful member of Immanuel Lutheran Church for 75 years, he was grateful for the support of his church family and friends, and he appreciated the caring concern and visits from Pastor Ed Meyer. Also, Dad was grateful for the cooperation, excellent care, and support provided by the doctors, nurses, and staff in the ICU at Spectrum Health Lakeland Hospital along with his incredible caregivers of Caring Circle – Hospice at Home.
Survivors include his children: Don (Diana) Kamp of Stevensville, Suzanne Kamp (Jon) Malm of Bridgman, and Kenneth Kamp of Baroda; grandchildren: Mark Kamp, Kimberly Kamp, Katherine (Joe) Collins, Molly (John) Weinlader, Jennifer (Chris) Mietz, and Jon Malm; great grandchildren: Emily (Blake) Murray, Michael (Paige) Kamp, Jackson Kamp, Adler Meitz, Caroline, Elizabeth, and Maura Collins, Emma and June Weinlader; sister-in-law: Keziah Kamp; along with several nieces and nephews.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents: son and daughter-in-law, Joseph G. Kamp and Susan E. Kamp; brother: John N. Kamp; sisters and brother-in-law: Dorothy and Harold Gast and Lorraine and Victor Gitersonke; and brother-in-law: Walter Panzer.