Jens-Peter Kemmler
September 11, 1939-October 8, 2002

Jens-Peter Kemmler, known to most as “Peter,” died on
Oct. 8, 2002, at Cedars Medical Center in Miami from
complications associated with liver cancer, secondary to
Hepatitis C. He was 63. Peter, who had lived on St. Thomas
since 1967, was born in Elbing, Germany (now known as
Elblag, Poland). The third of four children born to Johann
and Johanna Kemmler, he was preceded in death by his mother
in 1962, younger sister Johanna Kemmler Bull in 1977, and
father in 1983.

Peter emigrated to Michigan with his family at age 15. He
was educated at the New York School of Interior Design and
the Detroit Institute of Art. Kemmler helped operate Café
Brittany in Creque’s Alley in the late 1960s to mid 1970s
with Jerry Meyer, with whom he moved to the island. He
worked for some cumulative 20 years at Cardow Jewelers in
advertising and graphic design. He had previously worked at
A.H. Riise, and for developer John Anderson; and had engaged
in numerous freelance art and design projects over the
years.

Kemmler is survived by sisters Margret Paas of Arizona and
Karin Weihs of Michigan, and brother-in-law Herbert Weihs.
He is also survived by long-time companion Edward C. Jones
and by his son Ahmad Braxton-Jones, with whom Peter shared a
special familial relationship. Peter’s close friends were
numerous, including Judi Nagelberg, Gail Garrison, Merle
“Mimi” Richards, Charles Smith, Greg Samuel, Daphne
Gumbs, Al Wilson of New York; Jayne Winter, Frances Kunkell,
Jamila Harris and many others. Others special in Peter’s
life were godson Kahlil Caesar; the “Friday Evening Movie
Club” members: Brenda Iniama, Cathy Dorset, Martha Moron,
Julie Armbruster (and Garrison) and many others too numerous
to list: fellow artists; co-workers at Cardow Jewelers; and
several nieces and nephews.

Kemmler was an active member of the Hugga Bunch Carnival
Troupe for several years. He had also been passionately
involved in several efforts concerned with the preservation
of the environment and aesthetic in St. Thomas. He enjoyed
gardening and growing flowers; among his favorites were
orchids of all varieties. Peter also conducted painting
workshops for young artists through the St. Thomas School of
Visual Arts and Careers.

His passions included painting in a variety of mediums (but
best known for his gentle watercolor depictions of Caribbean
scenes, flora and people), cooking, baking, entertaining,
water sports and outdoor activities; especially hiking,
gardening, jogging, walking on Magens Bay beach and
swimming.

Tax-deductible contributions may be made in honor of Peter
Kemmler’s memory to the School of Visual Arts and Careers;
P.O. Box 600193, St. Thomas, VI 00801. Please contact Phebe
Schwartz, Director; at 776-4566 or 775-2739 for further
details.