|Edmund Perry Kuempel|
|Texas State Representative from District 44 (Guadalupe, Gonzales, and Wilson counties)|
January 1983 – November 4, 2010
|Preceded by||Bennie Bock|
|Succeeded by||John Kuempel|
November 29, 1942|
Austin, Travis County
Texas, United States
|Died||November 4, 2010(aged 67)|
|Spouse(s)||Roberta "Birdie" Blumberg Kuempel|
|Parents||Henry H. and Ludora Langston Kuempel|
|Residence||Seguin, Guadalupe County
|Alma mater||Texas Lutheran University|
|Occupation||Salesman for Commercial Metals Company in Seguin|
Edmund Perry Kuempel (November 29, 1942 – November 4, 2010) was a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 44, based at Seguin, the seat of Guadalupe County in central Texas.
A native of Austin, Kuempel was the son of Henry H. Kuempel (1911-2014) and the former Ludora "Ludie" Langston (1909–1995). He graduated from Austin High School and received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas Lutheran University in Seguin. He played baseball at both schools. From 1965 until his death, Kuempel had been employed by Commercial Metals Company of Seguin.
In 1983, Republican state Representative Bennie Bock of New Braunfels, the seat of Comal County, declined to seek reelection in the then heavily Republican District 46, which since 2003, as District 44, has included Guadalupe, Gonzales and Wilson counties. Kuempel was nominated and elected to succeed Bock in a year in which the Republican candidates lost all statewide races in Texas, including the defeat of Governor Bill Clements. The district then included the Texas Hill Country counties of Guadalupe, Comal and Kendall. After the 1990 Census, Kendall was dropped from the district. At the time of his death, Kuempel was the last member of the House Class of 1982 still serving in the body.
In 2009, Kuempel had joined ten wayward Republican House members to vote with the Democrats to deny a fourth term to conservative Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Tom Craddick of Midland. The opposition successfully pushed the election of Joe Straus of San Antonio, considered a much more moderate member of the GOP.
During his tenure, Kuempel chaired the House Committees on Retirement and Aging, Administration, State Recreational Resources, and Licensing and Administrative Procedures. In the latter position from 1990–1993, he worked to restore the Texas State Capitol and the construction of the underground extension. He emphasized development of state parks and recreational areas and practical environmental regulations. Kuempel worked to enhance the retirement funds for state, teacher, municipal, and county employees.
One of his signal accomplishments was obtaining funds for the Texas Parks & Wildlife's 1988 restoration of the historic 1856 limecrete mansion Sebastopol House. It is an outstanding example of an early form of concrete widely used in Seguin, giving the town the largest surviving collection of 19th century concrete structures West of the Mississippi.
Kuempel had been unopposed for reelection to a fourteenth term on November 2, 2010, two days before he was pronounced dead at University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin. He had been brought to the hospital by ambulance from a convenience store on Riverside Drive in Austin. The lawmaker had asked store personnel for assistance after his internal defibrillator was activated. The device had been implanted after Kuempel collapsed in May 2009 in an elevator at the state capitol, which he had helped to restore. While recuperating from the 2009 surgery, Kuempel received a courtesy call from former U.S. President George W. Bush, but the lawmaker, still under anesthesia, hung up on Bush, not realizing who was calling. During the final drive to the hospital, Kuempel sustained a heart attack. Emergency room personnel tried in vain for twelve minutes to resuscitate him. Oddly, Kuempel had been at Brackenridge as a legislative guest two weeks earlier touring the building.
Kuempel is survived by his wife, the former Roberta "Birdie" Blumberg (born 1943); a son, John Langston Kuempel (born May 11, 1970) and wife, Michelle; a daughter, Margaret K. Brady and husband Walter; a granddaughter, Rose Brady; and twin grandsons, Will and Sam Kuempel.
State Representative Harvey Hilderbran of Kerrville described Kuempel as "one of the great Texans of all times. Speaking politically, he was the original compassionate conservative [a term coined by George W. Bush]. Regardless of party, regardless of anything, he was clearly the most beloved member (of the Texas House) and will be missed dearly."
State Representative Dan Branch of Dallas recalls having sat directly behind Kuempel in two regular and seven special legislative session. "I always enjoyed being in his presence . . . Edmund was a giant of a man with a big heart. He had a broad smile and a kind word for everyone he met. His passing leaves a huge hole in our chamber. Our thoughts and prayers are with Birdie and the Kuempel family."
Jan Koehne, chairman of the Guadalupe County Republican Party, described Kuempel, accordingly, "What a wonderful man he was. I can’t imagine life without him. He was bigger than life and had a heart as big as Texas. He was a good leader who cared about his constituents and brightened up a room wherever he went. What a great sense of humor he had! He could turn any situation into a funny event. We all loved him very much and will miss his powerful voice and special kisses."
Republican John Kuempel, also a salesman for Commercial Metals Company, was elected on December 14, 2010, to succeed his father in the House. With some 66 percent of the vote, he defeated eight opponents, including two Democrats, a Libertarian and five other Republicans. None of Kuempel's opponents reached 10 percent of the vote. Also running for the seat were two candidates defeated earlier by the Democrat Henry Cuellar of District 28 in the United States House of Representatives, Ron Avery (born 1947), an architect from Seguin who ran in 2006, and Jim Fish (born 1957), a small business owner from Cibolo, who filed in 2008. Avery and Fish, both crushed by Cuellar, filed as Republicans for the special election, but Avery had previously been a Constitution Party candidate for Congress.
- "Edmund Kuempel obituary". legacy.com. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- "Social Security Death Index". ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- "Edmund Kuempel passes away", Seguin Gazette-Enterprise, Seguin, Texas, November 8, 2010, p. 1
- "Edmund Kuempel Will Be Missed". Texas Monthly, November 4, 2010. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- "Gary Sharrer, "Lawmaker dies of heart attack", November 4k, 2010". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
- "Daniel Elizondo, "Kuempel elected to succeed father in District 44". Gonzales, Texas, Inquirer, December 15, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2010.
- "Candidates for State Representative,m District 44 Special Election". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
|Texas House of Representatives|
|Texas State Representative from District 44 (Guadalupe, Gonzales, and Wilson counties)
Edmund Perry Kuempel