He was a one-of-a-kind banker and philanthropist whose presence made Kansas City brighter.
R. Crosby Kemper Jr. was remembered and honored during a memorial service at a downtown Kansas City church attended by hundreds Thursday afternoon. Kemper died last week in California at age 86.
A reception was held Thursday afternoon at the Kemper Museum of Art, one of several ways that Kemper's impact will be long remembered.
"Crosby Kemper was a bigger-than-life figure in Kansas City, and there's so much of Kansas City that he touched," said Peter DeSilva, president and chief operating officer of UMB Financial Corp that Kemper led to extraordinary heights during his lengthy and stellar banking career.
Jim Heeter, president and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, said Kansas City has a significant debt to Kemper.
"He was a great leader, a great business person," Heeter said. "He cared deeply about Kansas City."
In addition to his banking acumen, Kemper was remembered for his generous heart and commitment to the arts.
Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders recalled how Kemper during one of their first meetings wrote a $50,000 check for efforts to help needy children.
"He was just here for the community in Kansas City," Sanders said.
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