Obituary: John Kamp

John Kamp, 93, of Bozeman, MT returned home to be with his Lord on Sunday evening September 11, 2022. He was surrounded by loved ones and his beloved dog, Sadie. John was born on January 25, 1929 in Bozeman to John T. and Elizabeth (De Ruig) Kamp. He was the youngest of six children. He grew up in Amsterdam, attended Amsterdam School and graduated from Manhattan High School.

On April 12, 1948, he married Martha Vander Molen. They began their married life in Three Forks with her brother Fred. John was a jack of all trades and moved the family to California to pursue interests in a wide range of businesses, including restaurants, business offices, apartment complexes and real estate development, while continuing to cultivate what is now known as Wheat Montana in Three Forks. John sold the farm in 1978 and purchased a Best Western hotel in Tuscaloosa, AL. He took great pride in the fact that Coach Bear Bryant and the Crimson Tide football team held weekly media rallies in the hotel’s conference room. He thrived in this field and spent the next 40 years as an innkeeper. John purchased land in many places such as Florida, which was eventually developed by Disney World, and as far away as Australia. He also owned a feedlot, Cal-Mont Cattle Company, in Manhattan.

John liked to keep busy and had many hobbies. He raced cars in Ontario, California, and maintained his need for speed while building airplanes in his hangar in Belgrade. He was very proud of the fact that one of his planes had taken off at 90 mph and cruised at 200 mph. Martha wasn’t so impressed! He has collected and restored vintage vehicles, including an original Yellowstone tour bus. He enjoyed being a bus driver and tour guide for friends and family who visited him every year.

John was a quiet, humble man who loved the Lord. He was involved in Billy Graham Ministries while in California and was a member of the Gideons. He helped build a church in Gardiner, MT and was part of a small group of believers who started a new church in California. He was an active member of Grace Bible Church for over 40 years and was deeply blessed by the teachings and spiritual leadership of Pastor Bryan Hughes. He encouraged his children to have a personal relationship with the Lord and to lead his family by his actions and his words. We were truly blessed to have such a strong Christian father.

Martha died in 2015 after 67 years of marriage. On August 12, 2017, John married Tillie Bekendam in Bozeman. Tillie has truly blessed our family and been a wonderful companion to John. We can’t thank Tillie enough for all the love and care she gave Dad. They had just celebrated their 5th birthdaye wedding anniversary before John fell ill. They loved to travel and visited many places including Alaska and the Holy Lands. They enjoyed many trips to Montana and surrounding states, always with Sadie the dog in tow.

John was predeceased by his wife, Martha; two sons, Dan and Larry; his parents; sisters, Grace Bates, Elizabeth Byrd and Gertrude Jones; and his brothers, Tom and Fred Kamp.

He is survived by his wife, Tillie Kamp of Bozeman; daughters, LaVonne (Joe) Kinney of Tehachapi, Calif., and Alice (Ken) VanDyke and Mary Kamp of Bozeman; grandchildren, Arianna Kamp of California, John Kamp of Bozeman, Jennipher (Dave) Hendricks of AZ, Katya (Alex) Salazar, Nadya Warner and Dmitri Kinney all of California, Yuliya (Eddie) Garza of Chicago, Ryan (Justine) Vandyke of Manhattan, Mark (Sarah) VanDyke of Chester, and Kenny (Ellie) VanDyke and Ben (Kirby) VanDyke of Bozeman; he was also blessed with 19 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will take place on Friday, September 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Dokken-Nelson. A funeral service will be held Saturday, September 17 at 9:30 a.m. at Churchill Cemetery, followed by a memorial service at Grace Bible Church at 11:00 a.m.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. []

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