Herman Lemke Sr., a city councilman in the 1960s, was a "real gentleman," said former Mayor Frank Fasi, who defeated Lemke for mayor in 1968.
Lemke was known for
HERMAN LEMKE / HAWAII POLITICIAN
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"Herman was one of the nicest people I've ever met in the political world of Hawaii," Fasi said. "He was laid back. I don't believe I've ever heard him make a derogatory remark about a fellow politician."
Lemke died Friday at Straub Hospital. He was 84.
Lemke and his wife, Florence, had just celebrated her 80th birthday last Sunday at the Waialae Country Club, said family spokeswoman Eileen Lota. He was getting ready for another dinner the night he passed away, she said.
Lota, who was city clerk when Lemke was chairman of the City Council, said Lemke never sought political office after his bid for mayor.
Before then, he was an elected official for 15 years with the City Council and its predecessor, the Board of Supervisors. He served eight years as council chairman.
"He touched a lot of people," Lota said. "He had a lot of integrity. He always watched with a jaundiced eye the budgets that were submitted by the administration."
The "strong Democrat" was active "in every single thing that came before the Council dealing with access to beaches and building codes," Lota said.
Lemke was also a trustee for Mark Robinson Trust and retired from the accounting firm Lemke Chinen and Tanaka CPA Inc.
Lemke is survived by his wife, Florence; sons David, Michael and Herman Jr.; daughters Marlene and Adele; brothers Paul and William; sisters Adele Ostrem and Emilie Williams; and granddaughters Rachel and Sarah.
Memorial services will be held at the Star of the Sea Chapel on Thursday. Visitation is from 9 to 11 a.m. Mass will be said at 11 a.m. Burial is private. Donations may be made to St. Louis-Chaminade Education Center or to Star of the Sea Church.