Clarence Luepke was born in the Township of Glenwood City, Wisconsin, on June 21, 1928 to Herman and Anna (Burmester) Luepke.
He graduated from Glenwood City High School in 1947. On June 3, 1949, he married Geraldine Voeltz at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Forest, Wisconsin. They were blessed with five children; Steven (1950), Susan (1951), James (1952), Richard (1955) and Donald (1958).
In his early married life, he worked on a farm in New Richmond and Glenwood City, ran a machine shop in Glenwood City and managed a lumber yard in Clearwater, Florida and worked for Badger Bituminus as a foreman for a blacktopping crew throughout Wisconsin. Later in 1959 he established Luepke & Sons Cabinet Shop, which specialized in building kitchen and bathroom cabinetry.
Clarence had a natural affinity for wood and his skills as a woodworker and carpenter were legendary. In his later years, he began woodcarving and he produced over 150 pieces, many of which were chosen Grand Champion at the St. Croix County Fair. His crowning achievement was the carving of his own casket, which was embellished with woodland animals and the 23rd Psalm. In addition, in his lifetime, he built four houses, a timber frame cabin at Richardson on Lake Magnor, and a family hunting cabin near Barronett, Wisconsin. He was a gifted stone mason and laid up several fieldstone fireplaces in area homes and cabins.
Clarence was an avid outdoorsman and hunter. He went elk and moose hunting out west several times with his special hunting buddies, Scott Teigen and Ned Hahn. In addition, he enjoyed a special deer hunting season in 2011 with his four sons and 11 grandsons. He shot his last deer with his bow in September 2013.
His leadership abilities were used to serve his family, church and community. He served on the Glenwood City council and also served as mayor of Glenwood for eight years from 1982-1990. During that time he began the first state-side community recycling center, which received special recognition from Governor Tony Earl in 1986. He also served as an EMT for the community.
Clarence treasured his family and expressed his love by building relationships with each one. His Christian faith sustained him during the good and hard times. He served on the Holy Cross Lutheran Church building committee when the church was originally built and also when the addition and remodeling took place. He sang in the church choir. His integrity, honesty and work ethic were examples to everyone around him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Herman and Anna, his father and mother-in-law, Walter and Selma Voeltz, an infant granddaughter, Lysta Luepke (Jim), a brother Sherman Luepke, a sister Doris Booton, brothers-in-law Lynn Booton, Bill Heiss, Robert Voeltz and LeRoy Voeltz, sisters-in-law Kathy Luepke (Sherman) and Kathy Luepke (Gary), three nephews and one niece.
He is survived by his wife Geraldine, son Steven (children Ryan (Andrea), Scott and Maria, daughter Susan Berg (Alan) (children Andrew (Alissa), Aaron (Sara), Phoebe (Shawn) Engh and Bjorn, son James (Lori) (children Luke and Jake), son Richard (fiancée Kelly Samson) (children Tyler, Nick and Logan), and son Don (Patty) (children Nichole (Kevin), Trevor and Claire), three brothers, Dale (Hallie), Carl (Faye) and Gary (Gert), one sister, Gladys Heiss, two daughters-in-law Jean Rose and Cathy Pippin, 15 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
He was greatly loved and will be greatly missed. May his memory be blessed to everyone who knew him.
Visitation will be at Holy Cross Lutheran Church on Saturday, January 31 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Glenwood City, Wisconsin. The funeral service will start at 3 p.m. Anderson Funeral Home of Glenwood City is handling arrangements.