Volker Kaempfert


Volker Kaempfert of West Tisbury and Scottsdale, Ariz., died peacefully on the morning of November 18, 2013 at his home in West Tisbury after fighting a courageous battle with cancer. His wife, Kathy, was by his side. He was 59 years old.

Volker was born in Braunlage, Germany, on January 4, 1954. He attended school in Germany and went on to receive a degree in hotel management. Soon he became interested in law enforcement, specializing in the anti-terrorism division with the German police. He went on in his career to work for Lufthansa Airlines, security division, traveling between Chile and New York. He later accepted employment in the security department for the United Nations, working first on the Secretary General’s detail, and then as a detective.

He met and married his wife of 20 years, Kathleen Reilly Kaempfert, in Cold Spring, N.Y. After choosing to make Martha’s Vineyard island their home, he left law enforcement and pursued a career as a cabinet maker in addition to using his skills in the hospitality field to own and operate The Farmhouse B&B. Volker and Kathy moved to Arizona, where he taught German and English to students of the Berlitz Language School in Phoenix.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his father, Klaus Kaempfert, his brother, Michael, and his sister, Monica Stoffers, all of Germany, his step-son Jamison Peter Hold (Suzanne Baker), two grandsons, Griffon and Grant Hold, and nieces Nadine and Nicole Anglesey of New York and nephews Sebastian Stoffers and Michael Kaempfert of Goslar, Germany. He was predeceased by his mother, Ruth, and sister, Susie.

Volker enjoyed spirited political discussions, was well-informed in many disciplines, and loved learning. He was multi-talented, excelled in languages, and had a great sense of humor. He was a consummate athlete, soccer player in school and played on the U.N. soccer team. He also enjoyed biking, boxing and weight-lifting.

He will be deeply missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Viewing hours will take place at the Clinton Funeral Home, 21 Parrot Street, Cold Spring, N.Y. on Friday, Nov. 22, from 5 to 7 pm, with a service at 7:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations to your local hospice organization or Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02257 are greatly appreciated.