Donald Lee Hemje, 78, of Syracuse, died Sept. 16, 2012 at the Syracuse Good Samaritan Center. He was born June 25, 1934 at his parents’ farm near Hildreth, Neb., to Fooke and Minnie (Keiser) Hemje.
He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Hildreth. He graduated from Hildreth High School and Kearney State Teachers College. He served two years in the Army. He returned to college and met his wife, Pat. They were married Aug. 10, 1958 at the Saronville Methodist Church, Saronville, Neb.
Don taught school and coached in Dorrance, Kan., and Byron, Neb. In 1968 he moved his family to Syracuse to work for an insurance company. He was a member of Lion’s Club, Chamber of Commerce, and the Rescue Squad. Don served on Church Council and sang in the choir. He enjoyed family gatherings, wood working, and fishing. His life was devoted to his family.
Surviving are sons Craig and Tammi and boys Nathan and Aaron Hemje of Syracuse, and Clark and Amy Hemje of Unadilla; sisters Lucille Wilken, Doris and Mel Friedrichs and Sherry and Gary Alberts; sisters-in-law Eunice and Lavon Bienhoff and Florence and Arnold Quadhamer; brother-in-law Jim Purdy; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded by his wife, Pat; daughter Jodi; sisters Jane Warnken and Darlene Purdy; brothers Alfred Hemje and Lamoine Hemje; brothers-in-law Elmer Wilken and Irvin Warnken; nephews Monty Warnken, Steve Hemje, Jim Purdy Jr.; and niece Marilyn Albers.
Funeral services will be Thursday, Sept. 20, at 11 a.m. at the Luther Memorial Lutheran Church in Syracuse. There will be private family burial.
Visitation will be Wednesday, Sept. 19, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. with family greeting friends from 5:30-7 p.m. at the funeral home.
Family suggests memorials to Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, Good Samaritan Center or the Syracuse Senior Center.
Fusselman Allen Harvey Funeral Home, Syracuse, is in charge of arrangements.
Condolences can be expressed at www.fusselmanallenharvey.com.