September 6, 2022 at 5:12 p.m.
Nathan N. Lemke, 66, Clear Lake, Wisconsin, died unexpectedly Aug.19, 2022, near his home in Turtle Lake, Wisconsin.
He was born Nov. 7, 1955, to Elmer and Florence (Blackledge) Lemke in Melrose. Before the family settled in Minnesota in 1971, he grew up living throughout the United States, in Texas, California and Illinois and overseas in Denmark and Yugoslavia during his father’s Army career. His husky build and physical strength came in handy on the family farm in Kettle River. He would pick up 8 foot ash logs and toss them like toothpicks and split wood for hours without breaking a sweat.
He graduated from Barnum High School in 1973 and immediately enlisted in the U.S. Marines in hopes of making his father proud. He served as Marine Corps air support operations operator, becoming a rifle expert, receiving the National Defense Service and Good Conduct Medals. He was an active member of the VFW Post 5828 in Clear Lake and proudly served on the honor guard.
Nathan was an outdoor enthusiast, an avid deer hunter with both bow and rifle, fishing over an ice-hole or in a boat and bird or duck hunting. His smile said it all. He loved riding his motorcycle on the open highways adorned in his U.S. Marines leather jacket. His love for his country did not go unnoticed – a true patriot of the red, white and blue. Nathan enjoyed watching hockey and rooting for his favorite football team, the Green Bay Packers. And until he gave up spirits in 2015 after his father passed away, he especially enjoyed his beloved Schmidt beer. And if you ever needed a “square” and you didn’t mind menthol, he always had a pack of Kools close by.
His faith was strong, setting aside time throughout the day to pray. When visiting his grandpa and grandma in Albany he enjoyed reading and talking about the Bible with them. Nathan was an active member of the Apple River Community Church in Amery, Wisconsin, and ever the optimist, believing there was good in all people.
He was a very hard worker and retired after a long career working in maintenance for Washington County in Stillwater. Nathan became very conscious of his physical health and became a fixture at the Amery Fitness Center and boasted about his workout and weight regimen. He was a gentle soul and will be missed by so many.
Nathan is survived by his two children, Shawn (Kristen) Holub of McAlester, Oklahoma, and Nichole Bryant of Zimmerman; siblings Anthony (Patti) of Crystal Falls, Michigan, Tamara (April) Lemke of Carlton, Dallas of Duluth, Jon (Ranee) of Barnum, Holly (Todd) Olson of Esko, Christina (adopted) of Wyoming, Minnesota; many nieces and nephews; special nephew (and fellow Marine) MSgt. Steven Lemke of Pace, Florida; gracious neighbor Thomas Levendowski; close friends Mark Sinclair of Duluth, Carl Mcallem of Turtle Lake and Mike Pocan of Cumberland, Wisconsin; and all of the Turtle Lake St. Croix Casino bartenders and servers at Me-Ki-Noc restaurant for taking Nathan under their wing.
He was preceded in death by his sister, April Oxford (Lemke); father Elmer; and this past May his mother Florence (Blackledge) Lemke.
Burial with military honors will be 1-1:45 p.m Friday, Sept. 16, at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls, with a luncheon and gathering to follow at Randall VFW Post 9073, 401 Pacific Ave, Randall.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your local Veteran’s organization.