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Clair Lemke
(Died August 11, 2013)

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Clair Lemke

Clair Raymond Lemke, 92, passed away peacefully on Sunday, August 11, 2013 at the Heritage Nursing Center in Foley. Clair was born on August 7, 1921 in Otsego Township, Minnesota to August and Minnie (Hink) Lemke. He married Doris Kight on May 25, 1940 in Milaca, Minnesota. He was an avid fisherman and hunter enjoying many outdoor activities including camping with his wife and their friends. He was a craftsman with wood working making tables, chairs and all sorts of beautiful things. He signed up for Roosevelt’s CCC in 1936 and went off to Washington State to work and then returned back to Minnesota. He farmed in the Elk River/Zimmerman area and worked construction and milk hauling in his early years; he worked for Cargill including at the Research Farm in Elk River before finally becoming a road grader operator. He graded many dirt roads throughout Sherburne Country as was a familiar face to those along those roads until he retired at age 62. He was a Zimmerman volunteer fire fighter and a founding member of the Zimmerman Fire department. He and the other founders signed their names to buy the initial firefighting equipment. He and Doris also opened the Zimmerman laundermat in 1967 where he spent many hours repairing or installing the coin operated washers and dryers. He loved playing cards, visiting friends, eating out on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons, and working in his woodshop for endless hours. His best fishing trip was to Alaska at age 79 where he caught a 42 pound King salmon and the group of four brought home 440 pounds of fish; he always referred to the trip as “the trip of a life time.” He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Harold, beloved wife Doris, daughter Carolyn, and his great-grandsons Benjamin and Michael. Clair is survived by his daughter Elaine (Bob) Stuefen of Elk River, MN, Daughter Judy (Bennett) Wallace of Zimmerman, MN, Nephew Donald (Dorothy) Lemke of Onamia, 13 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, and 5 great-great-grandchildren. The family would like thank Dr. Roger Boettcher for his years of wonderful care and the staff of the 100 wing memory care unit at Foley Heritage for their loving care. Funeral Service 11 AM Friday, Aug. 16 at River of Life Evangelical Free Church, 21695 Elk Lake Road NW, Elk River. Visitation 5-8 PM Thursday, Aug 15 at Dare’s Funeral Home, 805 Main Street NW, Elk River (763-441-1212) and one hour prior to service Friday at church.

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