Harvey Demke, 87, Bismarck, died Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, at St. Alexius Medical Center, Bismarck.
Harvey Demke was born Feb. 26, 1927, on a farm northeast of Goodrich, a son of Fred Demke and Natalia (Buchwitz) Demke. In 1932, the family moved to Goodrich where Harvey was raised and received his education. During his early years, he enjoyed spending weekends and summer vacations working on his cousin’s farm and working at the city creamery. During Harvey’s senior year of high school, he enlisted in the Navy and was sent to Great Lakes Training Center. After basic training, he was assigned to Long Beach, Calif., for his tour of duty in the Pacific Theater, including Pearl Harbor, Marshall Islands, Guam, Leyte, Luzon, Lingayen Gulf and Sasebo Kyushu, Japan. Harvey returned to the states and was ordered to report to the Minneapolis Discharge Center where he received his active duty discharge. He re-enlisted in the inactive Naval Reserve for a term of eight years.
Harvey settled in Harvey and worked for Gambles and J.C. Penney for two years, returned to the farm for one year, and then was employed by Montgomery Ward in Minot where he managed the shoe department for many years. In 1950, Harvey married Lola Whitt, from Velva. They resided in Minot and were blessed with three children: Keith, Curtis and Linda. They were members of Bethany Lutheran Church in Minot. He enjoyed working with the Cub Scouts, serving as assistant scout master and was secretary-treasurer for three years. In 1973, he received a transfer to the Montgomery Ward store in Bismarck, where he worked until he retired in 1990 after 39 years of service. Shortly after his retirement, Lola, his wife of 39 years died after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Harvey went to work part-time at the Bismarck Civic Center and joined RSVP, where he became very involved in community service and was recognized as Volunteer of the Week. He especially enjoyed working for the home-delivered meals program at the Burleigh County Senior Center. In 1994, he married Janet “Janie” Ackerman at Trinity Lutheran Church, of Bismarck. Harvey and Janie enjoyed working together in community service at church, Gateway to Science and the Baptist Home, where they were named Volunteers of the Year in 2007. His hobbies included golf, gardening, woodworking and furniture restoring. His grandchildren were his pride and joy, and he was dedicated to attending all of their school functions as often as possible. Harvey was a gentle man who treated everyone with respect. His easy sense of humor was appreciated by all who knew him.
Harvey is survived by: his wife, Janet “Janie” Demke; sons, Keith (Beth) Demke and Curtis Demke, Bismarck; daughter Linda (Joe) Dietrich, Bismarck; grandchildren, Sarah (Chris) Fogderud, Brainerd, Minn., Allison Demke, Tacoma, Wash., Derek (Alyssa) Demke, Point Mugu, Calif.; Katharine (Nathan) Hults, Sioux Falls, S.D., Joshua Dietrich, Marcus Dietrich and Olivia Dietrich, all of Bismarck; two great-grandchildren, Layla and Lily Demke; one sister, Violet (Robert) Allison, Manteca, Calif.; stepsons, John (Janice) Ackerman, Reno, Nev., and Robert (Eileen Werlinger) Ackerman, Bismarck; stepdaughters, Linda (Lee) Vannest, Roswell, N.M., and Vaneta Ackerman Winberg, Fort Morgan, Colo.; stepgrandchildren, Kara (Kameron) Knudson, Cedar Falls, Iowa, Robert (Sandy) Ackerman, Mandan, Justin (Niki) Vannest, Broken Arrow, Okla., Cody Winberg, Loveland, Colo., Melissa (Ryan) Lance, Colorado Springs, Colo., Malorie Winberg, Lincoln, Neb., Caitlin, Courtney, Caroline, Christina, Collin and Connor Ackerman, Reno, Nev.; stepgreat-grandchildren, Jaret, Kaitlyn, Reese and Kellen Knudson, Breanna Ackerman and Noel Vannest; and many special nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by: his parents Fred and Natalia; his wife Lola; one brother, Herbert Demke; and four sisters, Anita Adams, Alyce Schneider, Leona Zeeb and Alvina Wahl.
Services will be held: Friday, Aug. 22, at 11 a.m. at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Bismarck, with Rev. Nadine Lehr officiating.
Burial will be held: at Sunset Memorial Gardens, Bismarck.
Visitation will be held: Thursday, Aug. 21, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Eastgate Funeral Service, Bismarck, where a prayer service will begin at 5:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to a charity of the donor’s choice.