Cover photo for Leonard "Lennie" Gradert's Obituary
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1954 Leonard "Lennie" 2024

Leonard "Lennie" Gradert

August 3, 1954 — March 12, 2024

Emerson, Nebraska

Leonard “Lennie” Gradert, of Emerson, passed away at UNMC on Tuesday, March 12, with his wife by his side.

As per his wishes, cremation has taken place, and a Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, August 3, 2024, Lennie’s 70th birthday, from 11:00 A.M. - 2:00 P.M. at the St. Luke Lutheran Church in Emerson.

Lennie was born to Delbert and Maxine (Bokemper) Gradert on August 3, 1954.  He graduated from Emerson-Hubbard high school with the class of ’72.

Lennie was united in marriage to Beverly Oetken on June 14, 1980, at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Emerson.

Lennie loved sports, and played baseball as a youngster, and basketball at Emerson-Hubbard.  He loved to reminisce about some of the “big games”.   Lennie loved nature and took every opportunity to spend time outdoors.  He loved fishing, watching/identifying the birds, and hiking in the Black Hills.  He and Bev’s favorite vacation spot was the Black Hills, and he fished for trout in nearly every lake and stream.  Fishing for large mouth bass was a favorite weekly event here in Nebraska.  He and Bev’s most memorable hike was Harney Peak in September of 2008.  Lennie was a huge Husker fan and enjoyed watching every sport, men’s, and women’s.  Lennie enjoyed tracking the ISS and identifying the constellations.  He and Bev caught a glimpse of the Northern Lights in April 2023, just outside of Emerson.

Lennie loved Bev’s daycare kids, “farming” with the boys, taking them fishing in the summer, and teasing the girls about playing with dolls and coloring all day long.

In June of 2010, Lennie was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.  He participated in several Clinical Trials, hoping to find a cure.  He left no stones unturned, as he started his 7th line of treatment just 2 weeks before passing.

Lennie is survived by his wife of nearly 44 years, his mother, Maxine Peters, sisters Judy (Harlan) Gathje, Betty (Ray) Svitak, Cathy (Richard) Hulsebus, a stepbrother Dean (Joann) Peters, a sister-in-law, Janice Gradert, his wife’s siblings and their spouses, several nieces, and nephews, and two special fishing buddies, Loren, and Glen.

Lennie was preceded in death by his father, two brothers Jerry and David, his stepfather LeRoy Peters, and his grandparents.  

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Leonard "Lennie" Gradert, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, August 3, 2024

11:00am - 2:00 pm (Central time)

St. Luke Lutheran Church

211 2nd St, Emerson, NE 68733

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