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Josh Duhamel mourns loss of step father who brought him back from 'the wrong side of the tracks'

The When in Rome star shared an emotional message

Bryony Gooch
US Writer
23 April 2024
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Josh Duhamel said goodbye to his stepfather, George Kemper, and took to social media to share his grief with his fans.

Posting on Instagram a photo of himself with the order of service for his step father, which read: "Celebrating A Life George Kemper 1949-2024", the 51 year old actor shared an emotional message with his fans about George.

"Said goodbye today to my step father George Kemper", the When in Rome star wrote. "An incredible man, with a larger than life personality and a laugh that filled the room." 

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"He pulled my mother Bonny, my sister Ashlee, and myself from the wrong side of the tracks into a life with possibility", Josh added emotionally. "He also gave me two other beautiful sisters, McKenzee and Kassidy. We will miss this man dearly. Thank you for all you did for us Big George."

Josh's parents divorced when he was young, and while he reportedly remains close with both his father Larry and his mom Bonny, he grew up with the latter and his two sisters. His mom remarried to George.

His stepfather died aged 74 years old from brain cancer on April 9 in San Tan Valley, Arizona, according to an obituary. He reportedly owned Kemper Construction, "one of the oldest, multigenerational, family-owned construction companies in North Dakota."

CANNES, FRANCE - OCTOBER 16: Josh Duhamel attends the 'Opening night party' red carpet at the Majestic hotel on October 16, 2023 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images)© Arnold Jerocki
Josh said goodbye to his step father

The obituary said: "George's personality was as big as his laugh, and everyone knew to whom it belonged."

"Nobody got the last word in when you were around George because he just left the room when he was done talking."

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 29: Audra Mari (L) and Josh Duhamel attend the grand opening of Sphere on September 29, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)© Ethan Miller
Josh Duhamel and wife Audra Mari

Fans took to the comments to share their thoughts with the actor.

"Not many men stick around for their own blood, much less another’s. Sounds like a good hearted man. My condolences. May God bring you peace through remembrance", one person wrote.

Another person added: "You were very fortunate to have such a wonderful stepfather! Sending my deepest sympathy to you and your family".

A third felt prompted to discuss their own experience of great step parents: "So sorry for your loss I’ve had a wonderful stepdad as well that gave my mom a great life and loved my brothers and me blessed".

Josh's wife Audra Mari commented: "I love you." He was formerly married to Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie.

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