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Omaha Magazine

Tyler Lemke In Memoriam

Mar 28, 2019 05:06PM ● By Doug Meigs

Tyler William Lemke (age 52)

Born: Nov. 2, 1966 Deceased: March 23, 2019

Long before becoming Omaha Magazine’s vice president of operations and chief operations officer, Tyler Lemke began working at Our City magazine in 1989 with brother/publisher Todd Lemke while still in college at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Papillion High School graduate (Class of ’85) also worked for a time at Vitality Magazine. He wore the most hats of anyone employed at Omaha Magazine—ad salesperson, deliveryman, accountant, graphic designer, art director…even janitor. Most recently, his primary duties involved: advertiser billing/accounting, overseeing the Best of Omaha contest, and managing all company information and technology needs. He was a doting father of three daughters and avid motorcyclist.

He is survived by two daughters, Sarah Eve Lemke and Danielle Rose Lemke; his mother Gwenivere D. Lemke; brothers RL Scott Lemke (and wife Amy), Todd Raymond Lemke (and wife Sandy), and Bradley Stephen Lemke; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. He was preceded in death by infant daughter Vivian Leigh Lemke and father Raymond L. Lemke.

Services will be held Saturday, March 30, at Heafey-Hoffmann-Dworak-Cutler Mortuaries (visitation at 9:30 a.m., followed by service at 10:30 a.m., reception, and private interment. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Grief’s Journey.

Memories from Colleagues

Todd Lemke, publisher

Tyler, my talented and loyal brother, had been at the magazine for over 25 years (holding jobs like sales, design, accounting, IT, and more) Tyler was the original creator of HER Magazine and Bride & Groom Magazine. Tyler was the creator and operator of Best of Omaha. He was a loving father, son, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend who put others first. He believed in the individual and freely gave everyone his time and expertise. His absence is a great loss at work and an irreplaceable loss for our family.

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Greg Bruns, vice president

Tyler has been a friend of mine for over 30 years. I knew him before he started his position at Omaha Magazine.

I watched him raise his beautiful daughters from infancy, through childhood, to grown women. Tyler had a deep love and respect for his family.

Talking at many of our lunches, we shared conversations about cars, relationships, travels, and dreams.

You will be missed, my brother.

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Mother Gwen reading with the Lemke boys

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Sandy Matson, assistant to the publisher

Tyler was extremely funny and loved to poke fun at himself. He had a great sense of humor and could have me laughing so hard, I had tears.

He loved to try new things that were organic and natural. I remember all his different smoothies over the years, and how he loved to talk about using coconut oil; him sneaking around eating chocolate from anyone that had some sitting out; and talking to me about his online dating funnies (and how funny women could be, and not be).  

Tyler was so very methodical—about anything from fixing your computer, to folding banners to go inside Best of Omaha envelopes, to explaining/showing each step through any particular process. He was so very smart and analytical.

Each day would walk past everyone’s offices and ask, “Are you good?” and “Anything I can do for you?” 

He had a funny email that he is rarely in the office, but he was actually almost always here.

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Tyler Lemke with Todd and Brad and a raccoon

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Bill Sitzmann, associate publisher

After nearly 17 years working together, I have a ton of stories about Tyler. Tyler was one person I sought counsel from—for everything. From personal life to health, computing, or buying a car, he was informed and always did his due diligence. I took it for granted that he would always be there because he was. He made me laugh, question many of my preconceived ideas, and introduced me to the “Illuminati” ;). I never once saw him be cruel, mean, or disrespectful to anyone. He asked me every single day if I was OK, "Do you need anything?” and I’m pretty sure he did that to everyone. I wish I would have asked him the same more often. I traveled a bit with Sarah on shoots and we would talk about her dad from time to time. I would tell her, “ I love your dad,” not realizing I really meant it. Tyler became a brother of mine and I’ll miss him dearly. RIP Tyler, we love you, buddy. 

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Family portrait with Tyler Lemke

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Daisy Hutzell-Rodman, managing editor

If Bill was on a shoot, Tyler and I were usually the first two people to reach the conference table in the mornings. He told me about his TV shows, I told him about my books and magazines.

When he found out I was buying the coffee for the upstairs main pot a couple of years ago, he said, "You shouldn't be doing that. The office should supply the coffee." After that, he took joy in buying coffee with a variety of origins. Before Christmas this year, he came in and said, "I got a new kind this time, just for you. It's called Winter Moon Blend." He often teased me about my knowledge of the moon cycles.

I appreciated his sense of humor and his intelligence.

* * * * *The Lemke boys

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Mike Brewer, distribution manager

He would come out to the warehouse and say, "Mike have you been to the mailbox today?” Or, “I’m waiting on a package,” or “What did I order this time!”

During football season, we would talk about the game. 

One of the funniest things for me was when he cleaned his office. I would say, “Wow, looks great.” He would reply, “Now where did I put that?”

But the thing I will miss most (we were usually the first into work) is the “Good morning, Tyler.” I don't have that anymore. RIP Tyler!

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Tyler Lemke as a young man

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Alicia Hollins, senior sales coordinator

He was always polite, and I know I tell people “thank you” more after hearing him say every time he left a room. 

Logan’s been coming to this office since he was a baby. Tyler would become a little kid when he was around. Tyler would always try and sneak up on him and then they would chase each other through the office. The first thing Logan always did when he came in was ask if he could go scare Tyler. That poor little guy cried so hard when he heard the news. 

Tyler could always fill in the Easter eggs that I missed watching Game of Thrones. The final season won’t be the same now.

When I lost my baby, I did not want to discuss it at work. But Tyler knew he could help me. He was gentle and kind and as we sat together in different stages of child loss grief he also was open and honest about all the challenges ahead. Five years later, I’ve been grateful to him for that conversation every day.  

I’ll miss our daily M&M chats. Somedays they were lighthearted and filled with talk of Netflix shows or crazy diets, and other days he would give me an insightful one-liner that made me completely reexamine everything I had thought about a subject. He was smart, funny and nice. I will miss him terribly.

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Tyler Lemke and brothers in suits

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Gil Cohen, executive vice president, sales & marketing

I will miss my M&M’s buddy. I’m not in the office all that much, but when I was, Tyler would always stop by for a handful…or two…of M&M’s (never picky about what flavor or variety). Tyler, to me, was the ultimate answer man. If he did not know the answer immediately he would methodically investigate putting the pieces together to get an answer. Not many people, these days, would take the time to be as accurate as Tyler. I will miss him and all he did to help make me and my team successful.

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Tyler and daughter

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Sophia Galardi, account assistant

I have only worked here for about a year, but Tyler never failed to put a smile on my face. I assumed since he was a “Lemke” that would not be hard to accomplish. Tyler was a helpful hand to anyone who needed it. Every time I came into the office, I was greeted by a smile and, “How are you today?” He made everyone feel appreciated and special. I remember one time I was needing help with something silly on my computer, and he dropped everything he was doing to help me. He was truly the embodiment of generosity. I will say he was not generous about his M&M’s. I would giggle every time he came into our office to snag a few M&M’s for the long day ahead of him. He was a kind soul and someone I knew I could always count on. He was loved and cherished by all who knew him. He will truly be missed by all. 

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Tyler Lemke and his bike

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Derek Joy, senior designer

I never had a dull moment with Tyler. I loved his quirky humor and sage-like wisdom when it came to all things tech. Every time I heard him coming to the art room door, I knew I’d be laughing and we’d be trying to outdo each other’s dry jokes. He knew how to make us laugh during the most intense weeks of magazine upload. A handful of times, when he would ask “can I help you,” we would randomly joke about wanting Raising Cane’s, and he’d go out secretly bringing meals back to the art room. Anytime I ever needed computer equipment or art materials, he always went out of his way to make sure I got it—even if that meant coming in on the weekend to get things up and running. In the two and a half years I worked with him, he was there almost every day, and I knew I could count on him if I needed help with anything. There was even a time he raced back after 5 p.m. on a Friday upload day to recover a file I accidentally deleted. Tyler definitely felt like an uncle to me. I will deeply miss his kung fu in the hallways, scaring him at the front door, and racing him to the last donut. 

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Mary Hiatt, senior branding specialist

I think my favorite thing about Tyler was his wit.  He had a great self-deprecating sense of humor that would make me laugh out loud. He was smart and able to figure out things that no one else could; so, he had a lot of people that needed him to fix and figure out how to do things. Sometimes I would come down to his office and he would be receiving multiple emails, phone calls, and texts. He wore a lot of hats, but I think his favorite hat was his motorcycle helmet. One day I saw him walking outside to his bike and the sun was out and he just raised both of his arms high, like he was thanking God for the beautiful sunny day. Something else that brought him joy was his daughters, I could tell how proud he was of them when he introduced them to me. Tyler was a deep man in a shallow world. I wish he could have found what he was looking for in this world, but I know Jesus loved him and he is at peace.  He will be missed greatly.

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Tyler and his girls

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Joshua Peterson, Local Stubs ticketing representative and branding specialist

Tyler was able to find a connection with everyone on some level, and he would grow on it. For me and Tyler, it was fitness and food. I was always amazed by the things he would find and try. He would always give me a guilty look when he would steal candy out of Dawn’s bowl. I pray where he is now he can eat all the candy in the world with no regrets.

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Dawn Dennis, branding specialist

Tyler, I'm going to miss the daily "Giving each other a hard time" and the "Candy Bowl Grab" and seeing you every day walk through me and Joshua's office.       

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George Idelman, branding specialist

Tyler was always kind and friendly, and would always say good morning. Almost every day, he would walk by my office and ask me if everything was OK and if I needed anything. Also, when I first started (over six years ago), after the first few weeks, he would always say to me, “You still here?” and I would reply, “Yes, why you asking?” and in a fun matter with a smile, he would reply, “Oh, well, I lost that bet!” And over the last six years, he would periodically still say, “Oh, you’re still here?” I will always think of him and say to myself, Tyler, you will always be here in my heart and in my mind, RIP.

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Tyler and his motorcycle

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Tara C. Spencer, senior editor

I didn't know Tyler as long as many colleagues at Omaha Magazine, but I would like to say he was one of a handful of people who didn't put me on edge (I have some anxiety issues). For whatever reason, I was relaxed around him. Even when he teased me about "user error," I knew it didn't mean he was judging me. And of course, more often than not he was right.

He had a great sense of humor—dry, sarcastic, and self-deprecating (my favorite kind). He will be greatly missed.

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Tyler and Sarah with motorcycle

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Doug Meigs, executive editor

I've only known Tyler for the three years that I've been on staff, but I feel like he is part of my extended family. Tyler was like a cool uncle, always dropping by the production team to check on folks and to see if there was anything we needed—often multiple times throughout the day.

He was also incredibly tough. He had a toenail get ripped off and he came to work just as usual and went ahead with the big motorcycle trip he had planned. After his appendicitis, he was right back at our morning meetings. I never once heard him complain about these physical discomforts or pains that I'm sure he was feeling.

I always enjoyed hearing him reminisce about the days of paste-up, and Quark, and the way that the production of magazines has changed over the years. It was a window into his deep institutional knowledge of the publishing industry. He never bragged about this expertise, but he had a right to. I learned a tremendous amount from Tyler about the business of publishing. 

The tapping of his knuckles on the office wall as he walked past, or sighing in the hallways, or running up the steps in big strides—these are sounds that I will always remember with him. They were the audible signs that he was right around the corner to help with whatever IT, printer, Wordpress, server, or invoice questions (or whatever else) we may have been struggling with. And he was always ready to help. Even if it was a new problem he hadn't heard of before, he could always come up with a solution. 

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Tyler Lemke

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Linda Persigehl, former editor, freelance contributor

I worked at Omaha Magazine in the office for five and a half years, 2008-2013. When I started, when office space was tight, Tyler and I had adjoining offices.

Tyler was sort of a gentle giant—a tall man with a soft-spoken voice who always acted like he didn’t want to intrude or offend anyone.

Whenever I asked for help with a computer or subscription or payroll issue, he always seemed willing to drop whatever he was doing—and, usually, his plate was pretty full—and get right on it.

He was quite the tech enthusiast. He’d get so excited every time Apple would have a keynote or debut a new product online. He’d be the first in line to get the latest tech tools.

I remember my daughter selling Girl Scout cookies in the office, and some of us placing bets on how fast Tyler’s cookies would be gone…30 minutes? 60 minutes? (He’d eat them by the sleeve.) He would take a bit of ribbing well, but rarely dished it out. He was too kind-hearted to tease.

Last time I popped into the magazine office, about nine months ago, I stopped in to say hello. As it always did, our conversation turned to our kids, who are about the same age. He proudly shared the latest about his girls. We joked that we’d both done “an OK job” as parents,  and they’d all turned out great, to our relief!

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Tyler and his motorcycle

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Robert Nelson, former editor

He showed a level of patience I had never before seen when he was trying to teach me the computer and copy-editing systems there. I would have throttled me if I was him, as would have 99 percent of humanity. He calmed me down, told me things would be okay, said we'd get it all figured out, and we did, eventually, after maybe two years. That wasn't a small matter to me. He had a kindness and gentleness of spirit that really is rare in this world, and I think of him and try to comport myself more like him when I get riled and flustered by machines or life nonsense. I was a bit player in his life for a couple of years, but he's with me still.

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Scott Smith, who worked with Tyler for many years with Best of Omaha

Tyler was a damn good guy. One of the best I've known, in business matters and on a personal level. 

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Tyler, Gwen, and Sarah

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Kara Schweiss, freelance writer

Tyler was an integral part of Omaha Publications who will be deeply missed both by his daily co-workers and many other people connected to the company during his long tenure there. 

My dad, Jim Schweiss, knew Tyler pretty well.

He was associated with the company for many years in a distribution role and for a time as the office manager. We are losing him piece by piece to Alzheimer's, but I know Dad wouldn't mind me speaking on his behalf to share how he enjoyed working with Tyler and got a kick out of his sense of humor.

I became part of the Omaha Publications family of magazines as a freelance writer 21 years ago and although I rarely had a legitimate need to work directly with Tyler, I would still make a point of stopping by to say hello whenever I was at the magazine's offices. Tyler's frank viewpoint was appealing; he always had something interesting and amusing to say, and it was a lot of fun to chat with him. At the company's holiday gathering only a few months ago, I spent nearly the entire cocktail hour talking with Tyler and his daughter Danielle. I remembered remarking about how nice it was to catch up when one or both of us wasn't in a hurry to get back to work. I'm truly sorry I won't be able to pick up the thread of that conversation again. 

Tyler will be impossible to replace at Omaha Publications, and I know his loss will be felt doubly by the family members who worked with him every day. My deepest sympathies to Tyler's daughters Sarah and Danielle; he spoke of them with such love and pride. Their loss is unimaginable.  

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Tyler Lemke portrait in black
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