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Lester Nitschke

| February 17, 2005 11:00 PM

Lester L. Nitschke, 74, of Libby, died on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2005, at St. John¹s Lutheran Hospital.

He was born on Oct. 30, 1930, in North Dakota, to John and Clara Nitschke.

Raised and educated in North Dakota, Lester joined the U.S. Army as a paratrooper in September 1949, serving in Korea. He was honorably discharged in October 1952.

Lester worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Garrison Dam at Riverdale, N.D., from 1953-1960.

He married Ruphina Tesky at Riverdale on April 29, 1956.

They moved to Pierre, S.D., where Lester worked on Ohe Dam from 1960-1963, and from there to Minot, N.D., to work on the Minute Man Missile Program.

Lester went on to Grand Forks, N.D. in 1964 to work on the Minute Man Program.

They lived at Sweethome, Ore., from 1964-1965 where Lester worked on the Green Peter Dam before coming to Libby in 1966 to work on the Libby Dam Project until 1974.

After working on the Chief Joseph Dam at Bridgeport, Wash., from 1975-1978, the Nitschkes moved back to Libby in 1979.

After retiring in 1982, Lester worked summers on a military base in Alaska until becoming fully retired in 1994.

Lester enjoyed hunting, fishing, spending time with his granddaughters and great-grandson, and working around the house and yard.

He was always making some little project out of wood for his family. He also liked to go down to coffee in the mornings and afternoons to talk to old friends.

Lester was preceded in death by his father John on April 7, 1988.

Survivors include his wife Ruphina, Libby; mother Clara Nitschke, Jamestown, N.D.; son David Nitschke and daughter Pam Roll, both of Libby; granddaughters Tiffany Nitschke, Butte; Krista Roll, Billings; Tabitha Nitschke, Libby, and great-grandson Josh Langton, Libby.

Visitation will be from 3-8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17, at the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home Chapel.

Services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Friday, at Christ Lutheran Church.

Burial with military honors will follow at the City of Libby Cemetery.

Arrangements are by Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.