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Lewis Humke

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Lewis Humke Obituary

Lewis Ernst Humke

April 16, 1929 - February 5, 2013

Lewis Humke was an exceptional man. Born in Newburgh, Indiana to Homer and Mabel Humke, he was the only boy of 6 children. Lew had a unique outgoing personality, sense of humor, and a strong work ethic. His lifelong achievements are many. Lew graduated from Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana from the class of 1946 where he was a star basketball player, a shot put champion, and a member of the championship baseball team. He went to Butler University where he played basketball under legendary coach, Tony Hinkle, and then transferred to Purdue University. There he was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity and graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He married his high school sweetheart, Dora Marie Brookie Humke in 1950. They loved to travel and enjoyed many wonderful places in 49 states and 15 countries.

A man of tall stature 6' 4", Lew also had a big heart to match. He was extremely intelligent, creative, and organized and had a gift for motivating others. He impacted the lives of family and friends and also in his successful career in the manufacturing business. He began in Indiana at Browning Brothers as a salesman, and later worked at General Electric as a territory manager. He moved his family to Houston, Texas in 1968 to be the Southern Regional Manager for General Electric. He always said he wasn't born a Texan but he got there as fast as he could. At Atrax division of Wallace Murray and Peden he was Director of Marketing. In 1975 he became Vice President of US Sales for Sandvik. He reveled in wearing his Texas garb of cowboy boots and hat when traveling to the Sandvik home office in Sweden. He later served as President of Triangle Grinding in Houston, TX for many years. Lew was invited to become a professor in the Industrial Distribution Department at Texas A&M University at College Station from 1995-1999. It was his dream job. He adopted the Aggies and became a student favorite. In 2000, at the age of 71, he formed Lew Humke and Associates and continued working on projects, along with managing and inspiring those around him his entire life.

Lew was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years Dora Brookie Humke and three sisters, Mary Thompson, Rose Watts, and Armitta Hahn. He is survived by two sisters Hilda Hadley of Carmel and Ellen Barmore of Indianapolis; his three daughters Sharin Clark and her husband Steve of Dallas, Kara Wink and her husband Guy of Briarcliff, TX, and Lisa Thorn-Leeson and her husband Michael of Austin; seven grandchildren: Michael Waller Thorn-Leeson, Tricia Dell Thorn-Leeson, Jennifer Clark Duffy and her husband Zac, Daniel Clark and his wife Carolina, Trey Lewis Wink, Brady Richard Wink, and Evan Aaron Wink; two great grandsons Jackson Duffy and Tristan Clark; his special in-laws Bill Watts of Millington, New Jersey and Stan and Barbara Ann Brookie of Carmel, Indiana; along with many special nieces, nephews, friends, caregivers, neighbors and business colleagues, all who will miss his Indiana values and Texas-sized spirit.

Lew was active in the Methodist Church in Carmel, Indiana and Memorial Drive United Methodist Church and then St. Luke's Methodist Church both in Houston, TX. He recently moved to Briarcliff, TX on Willie Nelson's golf course and joined The Lakeway Church where he will be interred next to Dora in a private family service.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Pedernales Fire Department, 801 Bee Creek Road, Briarcliff, Texas 78669.

Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Lake Travis (512) 263-1511. Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at

Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Feb. 9, 2013
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