Barry John Lemcke

  • Born: July 13, 1963
  • Died: July 27, 2020
  • Location: Johnsburg, Illinois

Colonial Funeral Home & Crematory

591 Ridgeview Drive
McHenry, IL 60050
Tel. (815) 385-0063

Tribute & Message From The Family

Barry Lemcke was born in Elgin IL July 13th 1963 and grew up in Hoffman Estates, and then also in Round Lake where he lived with his folks (Frank & Pat), on the shores of Long Lake. Thus began his life-long love affair with being on the water. Barry graduated Round Lake High School in May of 1981. After graduation he enlisted in The United States Coast Guard and served faithfully and honorably until 1987. While in the Coast Guard Barry earned a Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering from Old Dominion University. Shortly after leaving the Coast Guard took the only job he'd ever have. For more than 30 years he worked for Varian Medical Systems in Management and as a Field Engineer. He was very dedicated to Varian and loved his work which included repairing and maintaining sophisticated equipment such as linear accelerators. He especially loved to help other techs when they had been confounded by a problem they couldn't resolve; he was generous but humble with his teaching.

Describing Barry to those that didn't know him is tough. He lived a very large life filled with family, countless close friends, and many, shall we say, "motorized accessories". If a motor ran in it, he wanted one; usually more than one!. He loved the outdoors and his outdoor toys! Motorcycles, souped up golf carts that could reach 65mph, snowmobiles, boats, wave runners, pick-up trucks and convertibles; A new convertible quarterly because you know, the spice of life is variety!. If you could put gas in it, Barry wanted one. In winters you would find him crisscrossing the Upper Peninsula on one of his many snowmobiles. With perhaps an occasional stop for "Re-fueling". His sons Conner and Blake along with many friends in tow, over the years accumulating thousands of miles across the trails of the North Woods.

In summer time he was the unofficial Mayor of The Chain of Lakes and cruised the lakes endlessly aboard his cherished yacht, Second Wind. He knew the map of the lakes in his sleep and came to many a friend's and brother's rescue when they had broke down, or perhaps miscalculated the peril of navigating 8 inch deep water. Summer life aboard Second Wind was always merry. Barry was always joined by many friends and family members. The Jimmy Buffet music rocking and swaying, Barry manning the BBQ in the back serving up endless amounts of his special pork sandwiches and marinated chicken thighs, proudly holding court and telling stories that were mostly true.

These many friends that were with him have flooded social media with their heartbreak and loss, for a man they describe as "a Mountain of a Human", "Generous", "Kind" "A Very Good Man", "A great friend to all who knew him" "A great guy who touched many lives", "a wonderful human being", "he cared more for everyone around him than for himself", and so many more hundreds of tributes.
Barry was all these things and more. He was a brother who would do anything to help at the drop of a hat. He was an Uncle who was really more like a father. He was a master fixer of all thing mechanical.

But above all else he was a Father. He loved being a Father more than anything else in his life. Although he was divorced, he never stopped loving the mother of his sons, Wendy. Because the purpose of his life, the joy of his life, the Love of his life, was being a Father to his two sons Conner and Blake. He loved going to all of their football games. He loved teaching them how to ride a snowmobile. He loved teaching them how to park a boat, "like a surgeon!". He would actually tear up when talking about how proud he was of Conner graduating the fire academy and passing his paramedic certification, then beginning his career as a full time fire fighter/paramedic. And he loved to tell everyone that his son Blake was attending Baylor University majoring in Mechanical Engineering, and how Blake had his gift for all things mechanical. He could get lost in dreaming and talking about what Blake would do with his career.
Barry was so much to so many; But Barry lived for his sons.

Happy Trails to you Barry; brother, son, uncle, husband, and Father.
May the Seas lie smooth before you.
May a gentle breeze forever fill your sails
May sunshine warm your face
And kindness warm your soul
And until we meet again,
May God bless you and keep you safe.

Barry is survived by his children: Conner T. Lemcke of Island Lake IL and Blake W Lemcke of Johnsburg IL; his siblings: Erica Emerson of Packwood WA, Peter Lemcke of Fontana WI, Greg Lemcke of Mishawaka IN, Frank (Rose) Lemcke of Trevor WI and Gretchen (Bob) Conrad of Milford IN.
He was preceded in death by his parents Frank H. Lemcke and Patricia Ann Lemcke, as well as his siblings: Denise Schlappi, Scott Lemcke, Barbara Musick,

Visitation will take place on Friday, July 31, 2020 from 4pm to 7pm at Colonial Funeral Home 591 Ridgeview Dr. McHenry IL 60050. Followed by Military Honors at 7pm. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations be made to Operation Support Our troops. This is a terrific highly rated military charity. They are extremely efficient. More than 90% of every dollar donated goes directly in support of active duty military, veterans, and Gold Star Families. (The term "Gold Star" describes a family member who has lost a loved one in military service. The Gold Star first made an appearance during World War I after being placed over a service flag's blue star when a service member was killed in combat.)
If you can help, please donate here:


Condolence & Memory Journal

Rip my brother and bff. Vickers here can't believe ur gone. U will never be forgotten my friend see u at the dock on the other side. Miss u bud

Posted by Dave Vickers - Las cruces, NM   August 17, 2020

MY EYES BFF FOREVER. SEE U AT THE DOCK ON THE OTHER SIDE glad I got to see u last summer

Posted by David Vickers - Las cruces, NM - Family Friend   August 17, 2020

Pete, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I only met Barry a few times, but I know how much a part of your life he was, as well as Carly and Jaime's. Our hearts go out to you, the girls, and the rest of the Lemcke's. The Garry Family

Posted by Melody Garry - Bradenton, FL - Acquaintance   August 02, 2020

Sorry to hear of his passing. Blessings to his family and friends.
RLHS Class '81.

Posted by Jim Maczka - McHenry, IL - Classmate   August 02, 2020

Wendy, Connor and Blake... we were so saddened to hear of Barry's passing. What a beautiful testament to his life in the obituary. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Posted by Cliff and Linda Hadick - McHenry, IL - Acquaintance   August 02, 2020

My deepest sympathy and condolences to the Lemke family. We just met and was on his boat last Saturday evening. In the short time we shared, I already knew he was a genuine man and well liked by everyone. He made me feel like we were friends for years. May the seas be smooth sailing for Barry.

Posted by Ron Lino - Crystal Lake, IL - Friend   August 01, 2020

I never had a chance to work with Barry, but his reputation and expertise were well known in Varian Service. There are just a handful of us fellow Coasties working at Varian and I was saddened to learn of his passing. He will be greatly missed. Fair winds and following seas sir.

Posted by Kristian Prather - Alpine, CA - Coworker   July 31, 2020

My wife Cathy and I have known Barry almost as long as we have been in Dutch Creek Woodlands and that would be 27 years. Definitely a boater's legend around here and on the Chain O' Lakes/Fox River, too! He has helped me with my boat in my driveway volunteering lots of time to fix it once upon a time. Always fun to be around. He was the first "Coastie" with a brick at the Johnsburg Armed Forces Memorial at the Johnsburg Community Club and also wanted his sons Connor and Blake to be there too... as sons of a Coast Guardsman! Thanks for being there when you were, Barry, Colonel George Braun-sending

Posted by George Braun - Johnsburg, IL - Family Friend   July 31, 2020

Barry was one of those guys who you meet for the first time, and he makes you feel like you have been friends for YEARS.. I have always referred to him as my Cousin-in Law and always will. My Heart goes out to Connor and Blake and ALL in the Lemcke Family. He will be sorely missed. Smooth Sailings Captain.

Posted by Tommi & Skip Dusik - Lakemoor, IL   July 30, 2020

Our Deepest sympathy to the Lemke Family. Barry will be missed.

Posted by Michael Ambroz - Johnsburg, IL - Friend   July 30, 2020

You were the best boat docker I have ever witnessed! Thank you for the countless memories I made with you on Second Wind. You raised two fine young men who I know you will be watching over. Till we meet again, cheers Barry.

Posted by Alec Graef - Spring Grove, IL - Friend   July 30, 2020

Barry was one of the first field engineers I had the pleasure of meeting in person when I started at Varian. As a field engineer, he regularly stopped by the Des Plaines office and always made a point to say hi to Dispatch. When he took on the task of District Manager he was one of the best to work with and always went above and beyond for the customers. I remember one of the many times I had to contact Barry (well after working hours) for a down machine. A couple of engineers had already spoke with the customer over the phone. I told Barry it needs an engineer onsite and I couldn't find anyone available to take the late request. As the manager, Barry called the customer, within 10 minutes he called me back and told me the machine was fixed. He had walked the customer through what needed to be done over the phone. I told him I would never doubt his abilities again. He chuckled and I could feel his smile through the phone. It won't be the same not getting to hear his voice on the other end of the line at Varian. I am very grateful for his dedication and commodore. I will keep the Lemcke family in my thoughts.

-Melissa Pierce

Posted by Melissa Pierce - Canton, MO - Coworker   July 30, 2020

I only knew you for a short time Barry....but always admired you and your spirit. My deepest condolences to his family...both immediate and others as I don't think Barry ever considered anyone of his friends other than family.

Posted by Richard Kimball - North LIttle Rock, AR - Coworker   July 30, 2020

Conner, I was very saddened to hear of the passing of your father. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. Your father sounded like a great guy. Cherish the memories. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Posted by Joanne Kosina - Niles, IL - Coworker   July 30, 2020

Prayers and condolences to the family of Barry Lemke. May he RIP

Posted by Craig Sincora - Spring Grove, IL - Family Friend   July 30, 2020

Kind regards and best to the entire Lemcke Family.

Posted by Kurt Mueller - Wauwatosa, WI - Family Friend   July 29, 2020

Rest in peace my friend. My prayers are with you and your family.

Posted by Vicki Schuerr - Conover, WI - Friend   July 29, 2020


You touched so many.... Hard to believe your onto your next journey. You'll be missed.

Posted by Tom Kret - Johnsburg, IL - Friend   July 29, 2020

Too young and sad I will not see him around at Half Time and seeing him with his boys breaks my heart. See you again friend.

Posted by Anna Miller - Johnsburg, IL - Acquaintance   July 29, 2020

Even though it has been many years since we saw you, we have fond memories of boating with you & Wendy. It is such a shock to hear this news! We were there for your wedding in our boat in the channel. Your boys were your life and you and Wendy did a hell of a job with them. Dear sweet Wendy & boys, you will be in our thoughts & prayers during this celebration of his outstanding life. God bless! George & Judy Buber

Posted by George & Judy Buber - Round Lake, IL - Friend   July 29, 2020

So sad, left too soon. Prayers and healing wishes for family and friends. God Bless.
Debbie Church-Obmann.

Posted by Deborah Church - SPRING GROVE, IL - Friend   July 29, 2020

We will miss you Barry. May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand. Godspeed my friend. Love you, Steve & Kim Coleman

Posted by Kimberly Coleman - McHenry, IL - Friend   July 29, 2020

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Rip my brother and bff. Vickers here can’t believe ur gone. U will never be forgotten my friend see u at the dock on the other side. Miss u bud‼️