City council names road in honor of former mayor Bud Kempf
When Bernard Kempf brought his wife Yvonne to Boonville for the first time in 1955, Kempf told her that she would first see the rolling hills and Kemper Military School. The land in those rolling hills would eventually become Rolling Hills Park over 40 years later. Rolling Hills Park was a project that got underway when Kempf was Mayor of Boonville from 1990-2002. The Boonville City Council decided at their Tuesday council meeting to name the road that journeys around the park Bernard (Bud) Kempf Boulevard, in honor of his service to the city.
Kempf's love for parks began at a young age when he lived in Pilot Grove.
“When I was in sixth or seventh grade we would come visit Harley Park. It was very enjoyable,” Kempf said.
Kempf joined the United States Air Force and married Yvonne in 1953 in Portland, Oregon. They moved to Boonville a couple years later and had three children, Jane (Brengarth), Jeff and Rick.
When Kempf became Mayor in 1990 he began to expand the park system within the city.
“On many Saturdays we would get out to look for land for a new park. We looked at many different areas around town but then decided on the land with some rolling hills, the same land I had seen when we came to Boonville in 1955,” Kempf said.
Kempf said the price of the land was just right, and eventually became Rolling Hills Park, the largest park in the city limits. The park includes a ball field and a road that journeys around a wooded area for vehicles and hikers alike.
At the January city council meeting, a motion was placed on the table to name the road at Rolling Hills Park, Bernard Kempf Boulevard.
“When I moved to town in the mid-80s Bud is the first person I met,” Boonville Ward Three Councilwoman Becky Ehlers said.
The decision was made final with a unanimous vote on Tuesday.
“I am very impressed and glad they decided to do this,” Kempf said.
Kempf said there can never be too many parks. He firmly believes parks are necessary to keep a thriving and healthy community.
“Parks are for everyone. This is where we all go as individuals or families to be together,” Kempf said.