James “Jake” Litke, 73 year old resident of Pierz, Minnesota, passed away August 19th, 2019, at his home in Pierz. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 27, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Pierz with Father David Maciej officiating. Burial will be at St. Joseph’s Parish Cemetery in Pierz. Visitation will be Monday from 4 to 8 p.m. and from 9 to 10 a.m. on Tuesday all at The Shelley-Virnig Funeral Chapel in Pierz. Funeral arrangements are with the Shelley Funeral Chapel in Pierz, Minn.
Jake is survived by his children, Lizz Peterson of Parkers Prairie, Minn., Matt (Danika Adams) Litke of Seattle, Wash., and Sara Litke of Washington, DC; grandchildren, Brock Peterson, Kiley Peterson and Graham Litke; dear friend, Sue Sand; siblings, Arvin (Jean) Litke, Ray (Ruth) Litke, Elmer (Jan) Litke, Larry (Virg) Litke, Diane (Willie) Schirmers and Geralyn (Spencer) Sawyer.
Jake was preceded in death by wife, Sharon Litke; parents, Lawrence and Evelyn Litke; and brothers, Roland and Melvin Litke.
James “Jake” Litke was born in Pierz, Minn., on Sept. 15, 1945, the son of Lawrence and Evelyn (Gau) Litke. He graduated from Father Pierz Memorial High School, attended St. Cloud Area Vocational Technical Institute and was a certified journeyman carpenter. He lived an adventurous youth that he never completely outgrew, hunting, fishing, playing hockey, maybe or maybe not keeping his car out of the ditch, and never passing up a chance to race his snowmobile, his car, his four-wheeler, or anything else.
Jake married Sharon Smythe on Feb. 8, 1969. They bought the farm in Pierz in 1973 and raised pigs for 15 years until buying Pierz Ready-Mix in 1988. With his generous heart and fun-loving spirit, Jake was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, and friend to many. People always sought him out, whether for his considered advice or his love of having a good time. He gave his children the support, confidence and freedom to be and do whatever they chose. He set high expectations for each of them and had no doubt they would meet them and was proud when they did. Anyone who worked with Jake would tell you he also set a high standard for himself. He was a skilled and hard-working carpenter, farmer, mason and businessman, and could fix anything. He sold the ready-mix business in 1998 and mostly retired, spending time with his grandkids and hunting, fishing, golfing and traveling in the U.S. and Canada with friends and family.