February 14, 1927 – February 23, 2019
LEONARD NITSCHKE OBITUARY
Leonard Nitschke was born on February 14, 1927 on the family farm in Ashley, North Dakota. He attended a one room country school at Ashley. He came from a large family of 15 children. Leonard and his siblings were the first generation in his family that were born in America as Germans from Russia, and both of his parents were born in Russia. His father came to America in 1884 by way of the east coast, before Ellis Island was established and his mother arrived in 1911 through Ellis Island. Leonard is the last surviving child of his family.
Leonard was a Veteran, having served in the United States Army from December 1950 to August of 1952. He was a rifleman during the Korean War, the 24th Infantry Division of Company G, (21st Regiment). Leonard’s Company G was awarded the Presidential Citation for fighting a battle for 3 days and 3 nights on Hill 1150 in Korea.
Leonard married Darlene Brinkman on July 12, 1953 in Ashley, N.D. where they resided for many years. Two children were born to them; Jeffrey and Tracy. Leonard and Darlene moved to Glyndon, Minnesota in 1969 where they built a home and resided for 27 years, until moving to Minneapolis in 1996 to be near their children and grandchildren. They were married 51 years and 7 months until Darlene passed away on February 19, 2005.
Leonard was employed as a union carpenter for 50 years in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, and he was a lifelong union member for 57 years. He worked on various projects, including three dams; Garrison Dam in ND, Owyhee Dam in Fort Pierre, SD, and Big Bend in Fort Thompson, SD. He also worked on the missiles in Grand Forks, ND. Leonard felt privileged to be a blood donor, donating over 16 gallons of blood to help save lives.
Leonard was a member of Lions and Germans from Russia Clubs. He enjoyed fishing, traveling, reading, woodwork, playing cards and checkers, visiting with family and friends and watching news channels on his Smart Phone. He loved history and sharing ancestral stories.
Leonard is survived by his Children, Jeffrey (Theresa) Nitschke and Tracy Sigfrid; Grandchildren, Jessica (David) Neitzel and Emily Sigfrid (Sean Skillings); many Great-grandchildren; Extended Family and Friends.
Leonard resided at The Homestead of Anoka Living Center since November 7, 2016. He celebrated his 92nd birthday on Valentine’s Day before his passing.
Leonard is preceded in death by his Parents, Gottlieb G. Nitschke and Christina Fiechtner; Wife, Darlene (Brinkman) Nitschke; fourteen Siblings and many Relatives.
~ Visitation ~ 4-8 pm Friday, March 1, 2019 at Gearhart, Coon Rapids 11275 Foley Blvd. NW.
~ Funeral Service ~ 11:30 am Saturday, March 2, 2019 at Gearhart. Coon Rapids 11275 Foley Blvd. NW, with visitation one hour prior to service.
~ Burial ~ Church of the Epiphany Cemetery Coon Rapids, Minnesota.
Leonard is survived by his Children, Jeffrey (Theresa) Nitschke and Tracy Sigfrid; Grandchildren, Jessica (David) Neitzel and Emily Sigfrid (Sean Skillings); Many Great-grandchildren; Extended Family and Friends
Leonard is preceded in death by his Parents, Gottlieb G. Nitschke and Christina Fiechtner; Wife, Darlene (Brinkman) Nitschke; fourteen Siblings and many Relatives
- Grandchildren , Honorary Pallbearer
- and Great-Grandchildren
- Evening Visitation Friday, March 1, 2019
- Funeral Service Saturday, March 2, 2019
March 16, 2019
Uncle Leonard, you will truly be missed. My memories include coming to the farm and staying with you and Aunt Darlene. I will always be grateful to you for bringing me to my job interview at St Luke’s Hospital. This month I have completed my 30th year there. Lots of Love, Crystal.
March 7, 2019
It's been a long ride. Thank you for the memories and for being my Dad. I will continue to fight the good fight in your honor for truth. I will love you forever.
March 4, 2019
I still can't believe you and grandma are both gone. I am feeling so many emotions right now...anger, sadness, confussion...I wanted all of my children to at least be of age where they would always remember both you and grandma, before you both passed...nope...first grandma, now you. I think this is the worst part of life, having your loved ones die. I envy my friends who have grandparents who are only in their late 50s and who will be able to see their great grandchildren grow. This sucks!
March 1, 2019
Condolences Jeff, Tracy, and your families. I fondly remember all the time our families spent together in Ashley. I also remember all the late night card games our parents played during the winder months. Leonard is a special man and one to honor for his devotion to family and country. Blessed be his memory. Your cousin Elaine