Curt William Lemkau, of Short Hills, New Jersey, passed away on Monday, September 16, from complications related to pancreatic cancer. He was 70.
Mr. Lemkau is survived by his wife of 47 years, Susan Carroll Lemkau; his four children, Kristin Lemkau, Gregg Lemkau, Curt William Lemkau, Jr. (Chip) and Holly Lemkau Doran; and by his 12 grandchildren.
Mr. Lemkau graduated from Madison (NJ) High School in 1961 as valedictorian, class president and captain of the football, basketball and track teams. He went on to Harvard College, where he played end on the Crimson football team and graduated in 1965 with a degree in History.
He met his future wife at a Harvard football game in 1964. Curt and Sue were married in Boston in 1966 and began their fairytale life together. After starting their family in the Boston suburbs, they moved to Short Hills, N.J. in 1977.
Mr. Lemkau enjoyed a successful career in finance. After his college graduation, he joined Merrill Lynch working as a financial advisor for 25 years and became Head of the Research Department. He then moved to Prudential Bache, where he worked for the next decade. Curt completed his career at Lord Abbett & Co., where he was Director of Insurance and Annuities until his retirement in 2008.
Curt thrived in retirement, spending much of his time playing golf and bridge with his wife. They enjoyed a special bond together and their relationship was the envy of all of their friends. They were constant companions and enjoyed traveling together. Curt and Sue had a large group of friends they accumulated through their lives, dating back to Harvard and through their years in New Jersey where they spent time at Canoe Brook Country Club and Short Hills Club.
Among his favorite times were summers in Osterville, Massachusetts. He loved playing golf at Oyster Harbors Club and motoring around Cape Cod in his boat, which he named Per Su, in honor of his wife. The highlight of his summer was always the Fourth of July, when his entire extended family would come together at High Point, the family’s summer home. There they would compete in the High Point Games, a fierce competition that pitted husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, and cousins against one another. This past summer, even in his weakened condition, Curt won the egg toss competition with an amazing back-handed catch.
Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his 12 young grandchildren. Standing at an imposing 6 feet 4 inches tall, he was known to them, quite simply, as “Big Guy.” He was adored by Lily, Mack, Sadie, Finley, Natalie, Tatum, Stella, Jack, Sam, Charlotte, Casey and his namesake, Curt William Lemkau III (“Willie”). He was always there for birthday parties, school events and sports games.
Curt will be remembered by his friends for his razor sharp intellect and wry wit. Whether it was cribbage, backgammon, hearts or bridge, he was formidable at all. He would spend his Sunday mornings completing the New York Times crossword puzzle with ease. He delighted himself in defying convention and amusing his friends, most notably when he submitted his 25th Reunion update “…as the most irreverent chap, whose nostalgic thoughts of Harvard were summarized in rap”.
Beyond his many professional and personal accomplishments, Mr. Lemkau will be most fondly remembered for his remarkable generosity, kindness and selflessness. His brother-in-law perhaps put it best: “I’ve never known a better man.”
A memorial visitation will be held on Thursday, September 19, 2013 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at The Lemkau House, 41 West Road, Short Hills, NJ 07078. A memorial service will be held Friday, September 20, 2013 at The Presbyterian Church of Chatham Township, 240 Southern Boulevard, Chatham, NJ 07928. In lieu of flowers, donations can be directed to The Jimmy Fund in memory of Curt. The Jimmy Fund, 10 Brookline Place, 6th Floor, Brookline, MA 02445. For further information or to send a condolence, go to www.bradleyfuneralhomes.com.