Caroline R. KEMMERER
December 12, 1933 – July 13, 2021
On Tuesday, July 13, 2021 Caroline Kemmerer, loving wife of John L. and mother of Cathy, John, and Amy, passed away at the age of 87. Mary Caroline Reinero Kemmerer was born in Berkeley, California on December 12, 1933. Her mother was a librarian and her father was an officer in the Navy. Caroline spent her young life moving around the country, this planted the seed for her lifelong sense of wanderlust. By the time she was in high school, her family had settled back in her mother’s hometown of Decatur, Georgia. Caroline was a precocious child and excelled at all things academic. The only thing better than going to school was traveling. At a young age, she visited places all over the United States and Europe. Caroline earned her B.A. from Agnes Scott College, and her interest in language, especially Spanish, led her to pursue an M.A. at Middlebury College.
Caroline continued her education at Bryn Mawr College where she was awarded a Ph.D in Spanish. During her time at Bryn Mawr, she met her future husband, John L. Kemmerer. They married in 1958 and began a life together. She completed her degree while parenting baby Catherine. John’s career took them around the country from Pennsylvania to New York, then Texas and Southern California, before they settled back in the Philadelphia suburbs with all three children.
Caroline was a lifelong educator, managing to pick up teaching jobs almost everywhere she lived. She enjoyed working at the college and high school levels, and somehow survived a stint teaching middle school. The academic calendar suited her curiosity and desire to travel, study, and visit friends all around the world. Most often she visited Spanish speaking countries, although she also had a love of France and Italy. She and John took every chance to travel together. From various hiking trips, to following sheepdog trials in Scotland, to rocking the casbah in Morocco, they lived life to the fullest. When Caroline wanted to relax with family and friends, she was often found at Ganoga Lake, where she and John had built a year round retreat. Children and grandchildren were welcome travel companions, and she treated all of them to memorable journeys.
One of Caroline’s greatest passions was teaching at Swiss Semester. She discovered this teaching and traveling opportunity in her mid-50s. Caroline, a.k.a. “Senora,” continued to dedicate every fall to the program for 30 years. She left a closet full of books, clothing, and supplies in Zermatt so that she would have everything she needed each fall when she returned. When Caroline wasn’t globetrotting, she loved socializing, spending time outside, and enjoying the arts. She was a generous supporter of many local nature and cultural organizations.
Caroline moved her home base from Wayne to Beaumont in 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed the enriching, friendly, and open community she found there. She is leaving many dear friends, both residents and staff. Caroline is survived by her three children, seven grandchildren, three nieces and a nephew: Catherine Kemmerer Karp, her husband Arthur, their two boys Oren and Ethan; John Kemmerer, his wife Caitlin, their three children Jay, Ailey, and Cole; Amy Kemmerer Nonnenmacher, her husband Andreas, their two boys Nicholas and Max; Susan, Carolina, Frederick, and Karen Vargas. She is predeceased by her husband and both of her siblings. Caroline will be remembered by her extended family, friends around the world, many colleagues, and thousands of former students, for her curiosity, kindness, openness, and generosity.
A service will be held at Main Line Unitarian Church in Devon, PA in the near future.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Caroline’s name to Educating Communities for Parenting, https://www.ecparenting.org.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Caroline R. KEMMERER
July 24, 2021
Caroline was a woman I was privileged to know and admire for over 20 years.
I only knew John briefly before he passed but I know Caroline and he had an amazing life and an equally amazing family. Our dental hygiene appointments ALWAYS began with an update on her grandkids… and then on the events from the previous 4 months where she ALWAYS left me in awe and utterly amazed at the amount of energy, the circle of friends, and the passion Caroline had for life and learning (I’m glad she had such good oral hygiene or I never would have been able to complete an appointment)! I told her on many occasions that I’d like to live HALF the life she did!
I’ll miss that incredible woman!
July 24, 2021
Caroline and John were great favorites of me and my husband, Harold Hall.
I think we first met the Kemmerers when John and Harold both worked at a new startup company, Aeronutonic in California. Our friendship endured through many years with many cross country moves. Caroline's nephew Alejandro stayed with us in Bucks County in the 1970s with our 4 boys about the same age. During that summer he asked me to help him interact socially with the local young people. He and my oldest son Bruce went on a double date and Bruce's date is now my daughter in law. We still have the custom made saddle that Alejandro sent us from Columbia after he returned home.
As the last of the four still living, I treasure my memories of those years and our long friendship with John and Caroline.