Janet Clay Kempke

Profile Updated: September 16, 2016
Janet Clay
Janet Clay


Janet Clay


Janet Clay


Yes! Attending Reunion
Residing In Irvine, CA USA
Spouse/Partner Dennis W. Kempke (class of '65)
Occupation Retired music & theater teacher
Children Lara Eve, 1971
Dennis "Eric," 1979

I feel like a very lucky person. In 1970, while still in college, I married Dennis Kempke, who I first met at age 14. We lived in Long Beach for the first six years of our marriage while finishing school and starting careers. Our daughter, Lara was born in 1971. In 1976, we accepted a 2 year job in Alberta, Canada, where I directed a children's choir, learned to ski, and made some wonderful life-long friends. Upon our return to the states we decided to move to Irvine and have lived here ever since. Our son, Eric, was born in 1979. I have spent my life deeply involved in music as a soprano soloist and church choir director in the early years. In 1980, I founded and directed The Irvine Children's Chorus and later The Irvine Youth Chorale teaching choral music and producing concerts and musical plays throughout the city of Irvine. Over 1000 very talented children took part in my organization. In 1987, I was approached by Harbor Day School-- a private K-8 school in Corona del Mar-- to teach choral music to lower school students and direct the musical theater program in the upper grades. It was a big decision to close my business and become an employee, but one I never regretted. I spent 27 years teaching music to elementary students in a school that allowed great latitude for creativity and expansion of the program. In addition to my classroom teaching, I directed the annual Broadway musical and directed all-school concerts. I was so lucky to spend my working life at a job that was my passion. I retired in 2015! I miss the kids, not the report cards!
Still singing, still married to my sweetheart, the kids are nearby and we have 2 adorable grandchildren. We are traveling some, never miss a baseball game or a cello concert that the Gkids are in, and are re-connecting with friends we treasure! Life is good!

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Janet Clay Kempke has a birthday today.
Apr 17, 2018 at 4:33 AM
Janet Clay Kempke has a birthday today.
Apr 17, 2017 at 4:33 AM
Janet Clay Kempke posted a message. New comment added.
Oct 05, 2016 at 4:55 PM

Posted on: Oct 05, 2016 at 1:34 PM

Hello Linda!! So happy to see your smiling face! I went to the Long Beach reunion and missed getting to see you! Rats!
I am happy to hear that singing has remained a central theme in your life. How could it not be with that gorgeous voice of yours! I am also recently retired after spending over 35 years singing, teaching and directing music. Still singing but happy to away from the rest.
I would love to hear from you on my direct email: jlkempke@gmail.com or you can find me on facebook.
Have a wonderful birthday, Lin. All my very best wishes to you!
Janet Clay-Kempke
I love the pictures you posted. I think of Royce so often and mourn his early death. What a loss. Also love seeing the dress I loaned you for these photos. Sweet memory.

Janet Clay Kempke updated her profile. View.
Sep 16, 2016 at 8:30 PM
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Oct 03, 2016 at 4:01 PM

Posted on: Sep 14, 2016 at 4:53 PM

Sharon, thank you so much for all the unbelievable work you've done to pull the Temecula reunion together. I know it will be wonderful. I am looking forward to seeing a few of my 'Salus' girlfriends in Long Beach the following week. A much smaller and simpler event, but easier to get to for us. Thank you again. I hope you are dancing a "happy dance" when everyone shows up on Saturday!! Good Luck! (Here's a recent picture of me holding my little brother's first grandchild, Luke Jordan Clay)

Apr 20, 2016 at 1:42 PM

Hello Linda! I have often thought of you (and Sandi) over all these years. It's so great to hear a little about what you've been up to. Hope you have a great birthday. Mine was Sunday and it's hard to wrap my head around 68!!! Hope to see you at the reunion.

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Feb 24, 2016 at 6:56 PM
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Feb 24, 2016 at 6:52 PM
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Feb 24, 2016 at 6:52 PM
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Feb 22, 2016 at 3:35 PM
Oct 05, 2015 at 11:24 PM

So good to hear all of this!!

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Sep 24, 2016 at 12:13 AM

Posted on: Oct 02, 2015 at 6:16 PM

Just attended the Class of 1965 50th reunion. Remember Jack Robinson, Rick clay, Mike Underhill, Kathy Keenan, Jim Antenore? So happy to see these wonderful people!

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