1915 – 1978 (October 4)
Joseph Walter Kemme was born in Philadelphia on March 20, 1915, to Joseph Kemme and Mary Bultermann. Educated in the local Incarnation Parochial School, he entered Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, as a postulant in 1929. Upon graduation in 1933, receiving the General Excellence Award, he entered our novitiate at New Hamburg, New York and professed simple vows on September 10, 1934. He continued his studies at Villanova College, received his AB in 1938, and received his theological training at Augustinian College, Washington, DC. He was ordained in the National Shrine there on June 10, 1941 by Bishop John McNamara.
Upon completion of his theological studies, and after receiving an MS in Mathematics from Catholic University, Father "Pete", as his friends knew him, began a 23 year career at Villanova as professor of Mathematics, Director of Intramurals, Dorm Proctor, Chaplain, and for the last nine years, from 1956 to 1965, as Vice-President for Student Affairs. In October, 1965 he was assigned as prior of the Augustinian Community at Merrimack College, Andover, MA., again as prior and professor of math. In 1968 he held these same positions at Biscayne College, Miami, FL, and in 1971 he returned to Merrimack where served as professor of mathematics until his untimely death.
Father Kemme died from a massive stroke on October 3, 1978 at Saint John’s Hospital, Lowell. The Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated at Merrimack on Saturday, October 7, 1978. Father Kemme is buried in the Augustinian plot at Saint Mary's cemetery, Lawrence, MA.