Hertha Lemke went to be with the Lord on January 22, 2023. Born on May 27, 1921, she was the second youngest of five children born to Elise and Wilhelm Heidemann in Heepen, Germany. In January 1938, she met her husband to be Friedrich (Fritz) Lemke who courted her and the two were married on December 31, 1940. Her husband, who died on February 23, 1999, served in the German Army and saw duty during World War II in Greece, Poland, Russia and France.
In 1948, Fritz and Hertha applied to immigrate to the United States. They were sponsored at that time by Fritz' second cousin, Henry Hueske. In February, 1952, with the assistance of Henry's son John, their dream of coming to the United States came true when they received notice to board the USS America in Bremer Hafen within 72 hours. They were permitted 500 pounds of goods and left with their son George on February 18, arriving in Grand Island by train from New York's Grand Central Station on February 28. The family was shepherded from the USS America and the docks of New York by Travel Aid which got the family to the train station.
With the help of Greta Bott, Fritz and Hertha acquired their own home in September 1952 and she resided on West Fifth Street until December of 2011. In 1956 (July 8), the family welcomed a second son, Michael Hans.
In 1964, Jerry and Pat McCready moved into a house across the street. Pat was to become "like the daughter Hertha did not have” during the months and years to come. And, when Pat had children of her own they became like her grandchildren.
Hertha was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church from 1952 on. She was active in the church's women's groups (WELCA). She said "after all these years, I just can't change my membership from First St. Paul to the church in Lincoln - First Lutheran Church."
She was graced with numerous friendships that lasted her lifetime. Special friends in addition to Pat were Greta Bott, Martha Hueske (John Hueske's wife), Irma and George Grothen, Edie Brookhart, Butch Sowers, Elfrieda Kroos, the "girls" with whom she bowled until 2001, Daisy Patterson, Francis Murman, Gail Fobben, Zelma Fobben and Shirley Palmer.
In 1994, Hertha and Fritz joined the Liederkranz in Grand Island. She became the leader of the group and was active with the Liederkranz German singers until 2007. Due to illness, Hertha moved to Lincoln in 2012 to reside with her son, George.
She is survived by her son, George (Sharon) and "adopted daughter, Pat,"; grandchildren, Michael (Dana), Summer Brandt (Tim), and Jasmine; great grandchildren, Nathan, Matthew, Anthony and Ceaira and several great, great, grandchildren
Her brothers Georg and Hans and sisters Klara and Gertrud as well as her parents preceded her in death as did her younger son, Michael who died on Dec. 10, 2015.
A graveside service will be held on May 22, 2023 at 11:30 a.m. in the Parkview Cemetery with Pastor Joel Remmer officiating.