Geneva Lembke, 1922-2016

Published 9:35 am Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Memorial services for Geneva “Neva” Lembke, 94, of Albert Lea will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home. The Rev. Dwight Netzer will officiate. Interment will be at Clarks Grove Cemetery at a later date.  Friends may greet the family one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Online condolences are welcome at

Neva died Monday, April 18, 2016, at Prairie Senior Cottages in Albert Lea.

Geneva Lembke

Geneva Lembke

Neva Lembke was born March 20, 1922. She grew up on a farm in rural Alden with her parents Martin and Ella (Lewis) Cassel. She was proud that while her sisters helped their mother in the house, she helped her father with the draft horses, along with other farm chores. Despite spending little time in the kitchen, she was an excellent cook and always had her grandchildren’s favorites at the table for family dinners. An avid vegetable gardener, one could always count on bringing a box of cucumbers or tomatoes home from a visit to see her. Neva graduated from Alden High School and the reunions were always a highlight for her. She remained in close contact with school friends throughout her life. On March 20, 1948, she married Alfred Lembke at First Baptist Church in Clarks Grove.

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Known for her generosity, Neva often drove people to appointments in Rochester, volunteered at the Salvation Army food shelf and, on many occasions, provided meals and clothing to people in need. She was a member of Clarks Grove First Baptist Church and served for many years as Sunday school secretary, always remembering each child’s birthday with a special bag of treats. She also organized many church receptions and farm auction lunch sales through her participation in the Martha Circle. Well-known in the community for her many years as a school bus driver for Nelson Bus Service, Neva treated the children to full-size candy bars on holidays, rather than the fun-size mini ones.

A woman with a very competitive spirit, Neva loved watching and playing sports, including bowling, fast pitch softball and volleyball. Her softball teams Ray’s Southside Texaco, Moose Lodge, Home Lumber and the Royals won many championships, as did her Washington National Windjammers volleyball team. She enjoyed watching the Twins and Vikings — when they were winning — and especially enjoyed women’s college basketball. One could also frequently catch her at the Elks or the American Legion enjoying one of her favorite pastimes — bingo —with her own daubers and her lucky troll on the table.

The family thanks the staff at Bancroft Creek Estates and Prairie Senior Cottages for the care they provided Neva in her later years.

Neva is survived by sons Duane (Cheryl) Lembke, Dean (Roberta) Lembke, David (Lori) Lembke and Douglas (Melody) Lembke; grandchildren Holly (Aaron) Rocklin, Mandy (Al) Brooks, Cody (Jennifer) Lembke, Katie Lembke and Charlie Rose Lembke; great-grandchildren, Gavyn, Brezlyn, Aaron and Mya; sister, Joy (Elzo) Peterson; and many nieces and nephews.

Neva was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Alfred; sisters Jean and Nadene; and nephews Kirby Berg, Rick Kelly and Paul Peterson.