Obituary Details

Walter "Doc" Leo Klemke

(02/23/1891 - 11/01/1976)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 11/04/1976

W. L. Klemke

W. L. "Doc" Klemke died Monday morning at the Niobrara Hospital and funeral service is being held this Thursday afternoon at 2:00 at the Peet Chapel.

Walter Leo Klemke, one of 10 children, was born to Martha and Constantine Klemke on February 23, 1891 at Hemingford, Nebraska. He filed on a homestead northwest of Lusk in 1913 and has been a resident here ever since. Mr. Klemke, the last surviving charter member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, was an active church member.

On April 28, 1920, he and Eva Tweedy were married by the Rev. Carl Staehr of the Lutheran Church of Keeline. April 27, 1970, the Klemkes observed their golden wedding anniversary. Mrs. Klemke died Feb. 28, 1971.

In 1929 Walter Klemke and his late wife Eva opened a dairy on their farm on the homestead. When they first started the dairy they sold cream to Snyder's store only, but as the dairy business progressed Mr. Klemke himself built a large dairy barn and the couple built up a herd of registered Brown Swiss Dairy Cattle. For 21 years the Klemke family ran a milk route. The dairy herd was sold at auction in 1952 with buyers coming from 14 states. Mr. Klemke kept some of the herd and sold milk to Kilmer's Dairy in Lusk for another 10 years, before retiring. Ill health forced the couple to move to Lusk in 1967.

Klemke resided in his Lusk home until March, 1975 when he moved to the nursing home wing of the Niobrara Hospital. He remained active until death, taking part in functions at the Senior Center and on the nursing home ward.

The Rev. Beauferd Anderson will conduct the service. Mrs. Ruth Hahn will be organist, and a quartet composed of Susan Hahn, Judy Hahn, Deb Akers and Kathy Doctor will sing "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" and "What a Friend We Have In Jesus," Judy and Deb will sing "The Lord's Prayer."

Honorary bearers are Mr. Klemke's six grandsons, Roger Lemons, Leon Lemons, David Boyd, Jim Boyd, Matt Huckfeldt and Lee Wallace.

Active bearers will be the Lemons men, Jim Santistevan, Kenneth Macy, Kester Akers and Melvin Klemke.

Interment will be in the Lusk cemetery.

A memorial fund has been established to St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

Mr. Klemke was preceded in death by his wife, one brother and one sister.

He is survived by 5 daughters: Alma Grace (Mrs. Ernest) Lemons and Helen (Mrs. Leonard) DeGering of Lusk, Lenora (Mrs. Maxey) Wallace of Richmond, Va., Doris (Mrs. Fred) Huckfeldt of Rock River, Esther (Mrs. Ray) Gilbreath of Medford, Ore.; four brothers: Joe, Henry, and Otto of Lusk, and Albert of Hemingford, Neb.; three sisters: Elsie Rogowski of Hemingford, Martha Plymate of Gladstone, Ore., and Ida Lamb of Mesa, Ariz.; 11 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, 4 step-great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Images & Attachments

Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Klemke pose with their five daughters during their Golden Wedding Anniversary reception
Mr. and Mrs. Klemke on their wedding day April 28,1920

Gravestone photos courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

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