Alfred Lemker

Obituary of Alfred E. Lemker

Al died peacefully with family at his side at the Benedictine Health Center on Thursday, April 18, 2024. He was ninety-five years old.

Al was born on November 8, 1928, in Price Hill, Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended Saint William’s Parish Catholic School and graduated from Elder High School in 1947, entering the seminary shortly afterward. As his time there progressed, he discerned a call to fatherhood rather than the priesthood. When he left the seminary, he was drafted and fought in the Korean War, receiving a Bronze Star for action against the enemy.

While overseas, he courted Sarah “Sally” Williams of Chicago/St. Louis by mail. They were married in St. Louis on September 7, 1953.

As newlyweds, they lived in campus Veterans Housing at the University of Cincinnati while Al finished his Business Administration degree. U.S. Steel hired him, and they lived in Cleveland and then Duluth, Minnesota, where their two sons, Russ and Joe, joined the family. Al was transferred to New Jersey in the mid-1960s. Then, he changed careers and returned to Minnesota as a banker with the First National Bank of St. Paul in the early 1970s.

Al and Sally were avid sailors and spent many happy decades on Madeline Island in Lake Superior, where they kept their sloop, the Island Spirit . They were both licensed Coast Guard captains and private pilots.

Later in life, Al was an active volunteer for AARP Income Tax Preparation Services.

He was a deeply religious man who was always cheerful and happy. He had a keen sense of humor and lived by the philosophy that “it is not Christian to be too serious.” Al was usually the life of the party and strove to bring a smile to everyone around him. 

He loved St. Joseph’s Church in Duluth Heights and served on the Parish Council and other volunteer capacities there. When Sally died in August 2020, Al continued to live independently at the Benedictine until a series of falls necessitated his transition to nursing care in August 2023.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Freida; brothers Bob and Paul; sisters, Marge, Mary Alice, Ruth, and Rose; and Sally, his wife of nearly sixty-seven years.

Al is survived by his sons Russ (Gena) of Duluth, Joe (Christi) of Duluth, and five grandchildren: Reid (St. Paul), Claire (Portland, OR), Lauren (Minneapolis), Ryan (Grand Forks, ND), and Emily (Minneapolis).

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Saint Joseph Catholic Church, 151 Linden Street, Duluth, MN 55811, on Thursday, May 23, 2024. Visitation will begin at 10:00 AM, with Mass at 11:00 AM. Food and fellowship will follow in the church social hall. All are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the Benedictine Living Community, 935 Kenwood Avenue, Duluth, Minnesota 55811.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Alfred
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society Of Minnesota | Duluth
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