Irvin Nunemacher lived his life with great appreciation for his family. A strong provider and wonderful companion, he wanted nothing more than the very best for the family he loved. Deeply loved by all who knew him, there is no doubt that he will be dearly missed by his many special friends and loved ones.
The year 1932 held many special marks in history. With the promise of a new election year waiting, August and Viola (Papenfus) Nunemacher were eager to welcome home their newborn baby boy, Irvin August, on March 28, 1932, in Hokah, Minnesota joining older sister Augusta and completing the family. His birth brought great joy and happiness during an era of tough economic times.
Ambitious and hardworking from an early age, Irv went on to enlist in the United States Marine Corps by time he was nineteen years old in May of 1951. He longed to serve his country and made a twenty-year career in the Marines, including a tour of duty in Korea and two tours in Vietnam with his armored tank division stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Camp Pendleton, CA, and Camp Lejeune, NC. Irv was immensely proud yet not boastful of his years of service and made long lasting relationships with his fellow soldiers over the years.
Not to be forgotten, however, was the meeting of the love of his life, Jacqueline "Jackie" Roster. The two of them were attending a local dance at the Avalon Ballroom in LaCrosse, where his cousin, Elizabeth "Betz" Fruechte (who also happened to be Jackie's good friend), introduced the two of them and the rest was history! They immediately hit it off and corresponded while he was serving the country until they later joined in marriage by eloping to Las Vegas, Nevada on May 22, 1954. Together they raised four wonderful children; Michele, Melody, Mark, and Theresa.
As a father he was patient and loving. Although Jackie was the listener, Irv held the authority. He was slow to anger, yet the children knew to never push the limits. Irv liked to take the kids apple picking and to the state land to pick berries. Often, he would then assist Jackie turning the fruit into jam or other treats to add to the fruit cellar which was always full! Irv especially enjoyed making sauerkraut and horseradish that he would share with this family. The kids fondly recall how special he and Jackie made the holidays. They always decorated for each season including placing Santa's sleigh on their roof at Christmas and building snowmen out of tumbleweeds. They even took 2nd place in a home Christmas decorating contest in Altura. Yet, they especially favored Halloween. They would often use an old gas mask with a blanket and drop it from the roof with a string in order to scare the children. It worked every time sending the young trick-or-treaters screaming!
He and Jackie always found joy in spending time with the children. When Irvin would get a thirty day leave when transferring posts, they would take advantage of the time off by loading up the car and camper and traveling throughout the country! The children fondly remember Irv's potato pancake breakfasts. A fantastic griller, his family always loved the hum of the rotisserie turning the chicken on Sunday afternoons. Like most grill masters, Irv would often crack one of his Old Milwaukee brews while tending to the barbecue. His specialties were ham and chicken and the family always came back for seconds! Above all else, he and Jackie instilled in their children the value of living life to the fullest and the importance of family.
On May 31, 1971, Irv retired from the Marine Corps and settled back in the Midwest making their home in Altura where his sister lived. They were able to enjoy many years with Kermit & Augusta Verthein & family including Christmas, New Year's Day and Fourth of July holiday celebrations. He returned to civilian life working at Kalmes & Thompson Implements before going on to drive a truck for Rochester Silo. For a period of time, Irv was a volunteer fireman with the Altura Fire Department & worked as the town constable providing security for local dances at the Gaymor Ballroom. He fell in love behind the wheel and later purchased his own semi-truck and contracted with Bud Meyer Trucking. One of his favorite jobs, however, was working with the local farmers during the planting and harvest seasons. During winter months, he and Jackie enjoyed snowmobiling with the Rollingstone Sno-bankers Snowmobile Club for several years. These years seemed to fly by as their family kept on growing!
Retirement afforded him and Jackie time to frequent their favorite winter spot; Weslaco, Texas. With the warmer weather, they enjoyed playing shuffleboard and taking regular visits to South Padre Island and Mexico whenever they were entertaining visitors from the North. Back at home in the summer months, Irv always enjoyed working in his yard and tending to his apple trees. Never one to remain idle, he also enjoyed fishing, deer hunting, playing cards, and chauffeuring his wife and daughters to area rummage sales to find the next piece of furniture for him to restore! When they were feeling especially lucky, they would visit the local casinos or stop at one during one of their road trip adventures. Papa and Nana loved to spend time with their grandchildren. They simply adored them and were happy to share in their many milestones over the years.
When Irv's health began to decline, he was never one to complain. He always looked on the bright side of life. Never wanting to be away from his lovely bride, he would take his scooter down the hallways of the senior living complex to be with Jackie all day. Irv lived his life as a constant example of making the most out of every moment. May his loved ones never doubt the immense love he had for each and every one of them and may his memories be eternal.
Irvin August Nunemacher, 88, formerly of Altura, died Thursday, August 27, 2020, surrounded by family at The Waters on Mayowood in Rochester. Survivors include his wife of sixty-six years, Jackie, four children; Michele (Bruce) Vincent of Franklinville, NC, Melody (Rick) Keller of Farmington, Mark (Theresa) Nunemacher of St. Charles and Theresa "Tina" (Loren) Nunemacher-Tews of Eyota, ten grandchildren; Jason (Sara) Kieffer, Nicole (Micah) Maser, Joe Kieffer, Aimee Kieffer, Ryan (Kristin) Keller, Jay (Jessica) Keller, Michael, Rachael and Aaron Nunemacher and Breanna Tews and 15 great-grandchildren. Irvin was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Augusta Verthein. A Funeral Mass will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in St. Charles with the Reverend Tim Biren officiating. A visitation will be from 5-8 pm Tuesday, September 1st at Hoff Funeral Home in St. Charles and one hour before services Wednesday at the church. Due to current restrictions, social distancing and masks will be required. Military honors by the St. Charles American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts will be conducted outside of church following the funeral Mass. A reception will follow church services at The Garage along Highway 74 in St. Charles. Burial will take place in Minnesota Veterans Cemetery in Preston on Thursday, September 3rd @ 10 am. Special thank you to The Waters on Mayowood and Seasons Hospice for their comfort and care. Please share a memory of Irvin at his online guestbook and view his video tribute, when it becomes available at www.hofffuneral.com