Kenneth “Ken" Lemke


Kenneth "Ken" Lemke

April 6, 1934 - July 11, 2012

Former Walla Walla resident, Kenneth C. "Ken" Lemke, 78, went to be with our Heavenly Father on July 11, 2012, at his home in Richland from coronary heart failure.

Ken was born April 6, 1934, in Shelby, S.D., to Ted and Isabel (Hoffman) Lemke. He grew up in Walla Walla, graduating in 1954 from Walla Walla High School. He received a bachelor's degree in education from Eastern Washington University, Cheney, and a master's degree from Whitworth College in Spokane.

In August 1958, he and Anita Pinkerton were married in Walla Walla. They had a daughter and two sons. In 1982, he and June Canty married in Portland, Ore. A fourth son was born to this union.
He spent most of his career teaching high school and special education in various locations in Washington, Oregon and California. Prior to retiring, he taught at Echo Glen Juvenile Detention Center in Snoqualmie, Wash. During the 1970s and early 1980s he was a restaurant entrepreneur, owning and operating a Sambo's Restaurant in Salt Lake City and Richland. He had also owned a barbeque restaurant, where he had created his own barbeque sauce. International travel, discussing world politics and collecting antique car miniatures were things he enjoyed doing. He became a successful investor in the last few years of his life. He was a lifetime member of the B.P.O.E. Lodge #287 in Walla Walla. He had returned to Richland two years ago following his divorce from Nancy Knipe. He also attended Central United Protestant Church in Richland.
Ken is survived by his daughter, Terri (Kelly) Butz of Richland; three sons, Doug Lemke of Sammamish, Wash., David Lemke of Richland and Daniel Lemke of Portland, Ore.; and five grandchildren, Ashley, Brionna and Kaylee Butz and Jared and Eric Lemke.

Family and friends may pay their respects from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 15, 2012, and from 9 a.m. until the funeral service begins at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, July 16, 2012, at Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla. Refreshments and light lunch will be provided after the service. The graveside service and burial will follow on Monday at Mountain View Cemetery, 2120 S. 2nd Ave., Walla Walla.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Richland Food Bank through the funeral home.
Friends may write memories and sign the online guestbook at


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