Michael Lee Kemerly

April 21, 1953 ~ December 22, 2023 (age 70) 70 Years Old

Michael Kemerly Obituary

Lifelong Fortville resident Michael Lee Kemerly was born to Paul and Virginia Kemerly on April 21, 1953, and passed away on December 22, 2023. Like his allegiance to his hometown, Mike demonstrated this same loyalty in the other major parts of his life: his relationships with his family and friends and his love of culture and the arts.

As the firstborn–and only–son, Mike inherited the gentle spirit and kind heart of his parents. Early on, he developed a close relationship with both his mother and his maternal grandmother, Helen Garris, with whom they lived while his father was serving overseas in the United States Army during the Korean War. Even after his parents purchased their own home when Paul returned, Mike continued to love spending Sunday afternoons at Grandma Garris’ farmstead; he and his cousins played in the barn hayloft and enjoyed the sugar cookies his grandma always had prepared for her grandchildren. Mike became the older brother of Vicki, Debra, and Jennifer, and fostered a love of music and sports through childhood and adolescence. He played baseball as a young boy and faithfully supported the Cincinnati Reds; as he aged, he played a variety of musical instruments and built a robust record collection. 

After graduating from Mount Vernon High School in 1971, Mike worked at General Motors Allison Transmission in Indianapolis for over 30 years. His tight-knit friendships from both school and the workplace followed Mike throughout the rest of his life. Outside of work, Mike dedicated his time to cheering on his favorite sports teams: the Cincinnati Reds, the Boston Celtics, and the Green Bay Packers; enjoying a variety of comedians, including The Three Stooges, the Marx Brothers, David Letterman, and Bob and Tom; experiencing the arts by seeing Broadway shows on trips to New York City; and making his rich inner world known through writing and cartooning. Mike wrote the humor columns “Pod’s Pearls” and “Kemerly’s Korner,” which the Fortville Tribune featured for nearly a decade. Mike’s passions translated easily to his love for his family and friends, whether that included taking his mother or nephew on a trip to New York or Cincinnati, gifting experiences to his siblings and their families, or attending his nieces’ and nephews’ sporting and musical/theater events. He will be remembered for his sense of humor, his encouragement of his family’s endeavors, and his delight in his great-nephew’s love of trains.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his sisters Vicki Burt of Fishers, Debra (William) Stewart of Carmel, and Jennifer Moss of Fortville; nieces and nephews Paul Burt, Marisha (Michael) Boyle, Sarah (Andrew) Beltz, Michael (Brittany) Burt, Bethany Stewart (Justin Perry), Scott (Shay) Stewart, Parker (Riley) Stewart, and Bradley Moss (fiance Jessica Ellis); and great-nephews and nieces Matthew Price, Journee Ellis, Kessler Beltz, Kemerly Beltz, and William Perry.

A celebration of Mike’s life will take place at the Memorial Park Shelter House in Fortville, Indiana, at 1pm on Saturday, January 20, 2024. Online condolences may be shared at   

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Celebration of Life
January 20, 2024

1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Memorial Park Shelter House
400 W. Church Street
Fortville, IN 46040


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