Lyle Luedke – 1933-2023
Lyle Lee Luedke was born at home in Hartley, Iowa on December 10, 1933, to parents, Julius Henry Luedke and Mabel (Gosch) Luedke. Greeting him were siblings: Gale, Gloria, Gordon and Roger. He was baptized at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hartley and confirmed there in 1947, remaining a steadfast member until his death.
Lyle attended the Hartley schools from kindergarten through high school graduating with the Class of 1952. Playing football for Hartley High School with several of his brothers on the team was a memory he treasured. After graduation, he farmed with his father for several years and then attended Iowa State College to receive a B.S. degree in Animal Science. While attending college, he stayed in the living quarters in the horse barns helping to take care of the horses to finance his way through school.
Following college graduation in 1962, he began work with the USDA as a commodity food grader, inspecting seasonal crops such as oranges, peanut butter, cherries, sweet corn and dates and traveled to all parts of the United States. His 12-hour days resulted in an accumulation of many hours of comp time and provided time for travel adventures around Europe in two successive years.
He returned to O’Brien County to take over the farming from his Dad and also began work with the Natural Resources Conservation Service as a conservation technician. This later became a full-time position from which he retired on January 3, 2005. Terrace structures and waterways that were designed by him throughout the county during this time remained a source of pride.
Lyle served as President of the O’Brien County Farm Bureau, President of the O’Brien County Extension Council, President of St. Paul’s Congregation and also as an elder. He enjoyed reading from his extensive book collection, acquired computer skills in his later years, looked forward to watching college sports especially the Cyclones, and learned many things from YouTube.
In a snowstorm on December 27, 1969, he married Kathlynn Raye “Kathy” Adam at the Methodist Church in Farnhamville, Iowa. They were blessed to have many years together and recently celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary.
Lyle passed away March 8, 2023, at Mercy Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa having reached the age of 89 years and almost three months. Surrounded by a wonderful, caring medical staff who were captivated by his smile, they learned of his fondness for pecan pie and surprised him with an entire pecan pie.
He is survived by his wife, Kathy; sisters-in-law: June Luedke, Diane Adam, Cynthia Peterson; 13 nephews and nieces; other relatives and many friends who always enjoyed his kindness and magical smile.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Julius and Mabel Luedke; brothers: Gale, Gordon and Roger Luedke; sister, Gloria Hansen; niece, Jerri Luedke; nephews: Mark Hansen and Larry Luedke; and many cousins.
When Lyle retired, a sign was purchased that featured the three L’s in his name “Live, Love, Laugh and Be Happy” which was a daily reminder of how to live his life. He believed that all good wisdom comes from God and the Bible and felt very blessed.
A funeral service was held March 13 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Hartley, Iowa with Pastor Chris Nitzel officiating.
Pallbearers were Tom Luedke, Bob Luedke, Mark Zylstra, Austin Zylstra, Kevin Mars and Denny Mars.
Honorary Pallbearers were Brad McDowell, Brent McDowell, Kyle Peterson, Chris Peterson, Cory Peterson and Eric Adam.
Hymns were “I’m But A Stranger Here,” “There Is A Time For Everything” and “Amazing Grace.” The Recessional was “Morning Has Broken.” Donna Ahlers served as organist.
Burial was at Pleasant View Cemetery, Hartley, Iowa.
Hartley Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.