‘She played a foot-stomping jazz piano’
Marce Lemke Estlack remembered
Editor’s Note: While the SKR typically edits obituaries for space, it has decided to print the following in its entirety.
Marcelite (Marce) Lemke Estlack, 88, of St. Joseph Parish, Greensburg, died Dec. 10, 2010, at the home of her daughter in Lakewood, Colo. She was born June 23, 1922, in Muscoda, Wis., the second daughter of Peter O. and Emmaline Schlump Lemke.
She graduated from Muscoda High School and soon took a course in welding at the University of Wisconsin, joining the storied work force of shipbuilders during World War II at the shipyard in Green Bay. After the war she had many interesting jobs. She worked as secretary to Dr. R.E. Schnoebelen, her brother-in-law, in Kinsley; she wrote and reported for the local newspaper in Greensburg, worked at the library, the food bank, Kiowa County Hospital and for hospice, also in Greensburg, and spent several winters in Kansas City helping at the Worker House for the poor.
She gave her time to varied local charities and was for many years the organist at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. She was a consummate homemaker, with an eye for stunning interior and a fearless gourmet cook. Her knitting was legendary among family and friends, as well as her embroidery and quilting. She wrote beautiful poetry, stirring prose, played a foot-stomping jazz piano and danced with the abandon of those who were born with a dancer’s legs.
She loved a joke and had a laugh that demanded you laugh with her. To her two adoring nieces, she was a glamorous, fun-loving, always welcoming “Auntie,” whose love was unconditional.
“Sports fan” doesn’t begin to describe her enjoyment of baseball, especially her beloved St. Louis Cardinals, whose team members and their statistics could be given at the drop of a baseball cap.
Marce was a strong and valiant woman with a compassionate soul who braved life’s sorrows and always found time for others. Her generosity and strong Catholic values will be remembered and treasured by many.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ted M. Estlack, master carpenter, and her only son, John M. Estlack. She is survived by her only sister, Margaret Schnoebelen, her only daughter, Shelley French and son-in-law Don Pew, and nieces Renee Rousseau and Shade Calhoun.