KEITH HERBERT LEMKE was born on March 26, 1937 to Herbert and Elsie (Claussen) Lemke at the Luverne Community Hospital in Luverne, Minnesota. He was raised on the family farm near Hardwick, Minnesota, and attended school through the eighth grade in Hardwick. He then completed his schooling and graduated from Luverne High School in Luverne in 1955. Following his education, he remained at home and helped his parents with the farming operation. Keith was drafted into the United States Army and was stationed in Germany until his honorable discharge from service. He then returned home and continued farming. Keith also drove a school bus route from Hardwick to bring students to Luverne for several years. He was a simple person and took great pride in his work. He enjoyed crop farming, raising cattle and hogs and loved his red Case IH and Minneapolis Moline tractors. He was known to many as a soft-spoken, thoughtful and kind person. In Keith’s later years, while getting cattle for a friend he met Jonna Dull. After running into her again at a New Year’s Eve party, the couple began dating. They then began dancing on Saturday nights and on September 6, 1996, the couple was married in Sturgis, South Dakota. They made their home in Hardwick and Keith began attending the First Assembly of God Church near Luverne, where he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Due to health issues, he retired from farming in 2018. On Friday, February 5, 2021, Keith died peacefully at the Sanford Luverne Hospice Cottage at the age of 83 years, ten months and nine days.
Keith is lovingly survived by his wife, Jonna; step-children, Lisa (Gary) Trudeau of Hardwick, and Greg (Cheryl) Wilcox of Rapid City, South Dakota; two step-granddaughters; one step-great-grandson; two sisters, Imogene Krogmann of Luverne and Joycelyn (Milton) Abraham of Janesville, Minnesota; and other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother-in-law, John Krogmann; and nephew, Timothy Abraham.