We have lost our family hero. Richard Michael Hempel, 9/19/1969, gained his wings on 5/9/2023. He is preceded in death by his dad, Fred Hempel, his Grandma Kuhn and his uncle Steve Johnson.
He is survived by his mother, Glynn Hempel of Lake Jackson, TX; his adoring wife, Kim Hempel of Kosse, TX; children Steven Murff and wife Brook of Athens, TX; Michael Hempel and wife Katelin of Tulsa, OK; Ryan Hempel of Hamilton, TX and girlfriend Kylea of Stephenville, TX; and his incredible grandbabies Kannon and Kendall Murff; brother Trevor Hempel of Plano, TX; sister Ashley Hempel of Lake Jackson, TX; sister Carrie Hare and husband Shane of Plano, TX; sister Mary Beth of Phoenix, Arizona; nephew Jackson Hempel and niece Liberty Hempel of Plano, TX; nephews Gabriel and Gunnar Hare of Plano, TX; Uncle Gene and Aunt Vicki Johnson of Charlotte, NC; Aunt Sherrie Johnson of Alvarado, TX; step-mother MaryEllen of Plano, TX; cousins Samantha Johnson, Jessica Wilson, Dianna Hoke and husband Brian; numerous adopted brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews of the first responders that became family.
Rick has been involved in one aspect of first responder or another since he was 15yo, starting with the Lake Jackson Explorers Program. He signed up to serve in the Air Force but was forced out due to flat feet. Oh, the 80s! He graduated from the Alvin Police Academy in 1991, where he served with Clute and Bay City PDs before he took a short break where he was employed by Lucent Technologies. The itch returned and he was hired by Freeport Fire Dept where he became a full-time firefighter and eventually achieved his NR paramedic license. He eventually landed at Oyster Creek Police Dept where he climbed the ranks and retired as Captain in March 2020. He and his wife moved to Limestone County that summer to retire after his last boy graduated high school. After working on a COVID Response Unit as a paramedic, he ended up at Limestone County EMS and Groesbeck FD, where he added many more family members, again! Please know that he loved you all so much. He loved serving his communities with honor and integrity. He will be missed by so many. Our hearts are broken, and we are jealous of the angels but with all the love surrounding us, we will continue to make him proud.
A Celebration of Life service, following cremation, will be held at 1:30 pm on Monday, May 15, 2023, at the Living Proof Church in Groesbeck, with Pastor John Carabin officiating.
Honorary pallbearers will be Steven Murff, Michael Hempel, Ryan Hempel, Trevor Hempel, Davy Lockhart, Gene Johnson, the Groesbeck FD, Limestone County EMS and Oyster Creek P.D.