Entered into his heavenly home on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at the age of 80 years. He was in the hospital after having knee replacement surgery and was suddenly taken while sleeping. He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years Lucille (nee Beyer). Loving father of Ken (Sue), Kathy (Dan) Gross, Jeannie (Mykel) Kaufmann and the late William. Cherished grandpa of Benjamin (Jenny), Jennifer (Alberto) Miranda, Sarah (BJ) Knuth, Jordayna (Dominic) Druke, Katie (Brian) Noffke, Dustin (Chrissy) Gross, Mykel Jay Kaufmann, Heather (Andy) Noffke, Jamie (Bruce) Russell, Jason Kaufmann, Bryan Kaufmann and Molly (Justin) Tyler. Proud great grandpa of Nicky, Mackenzie, Ava, Lily, Brody, Wesley and Abby who will deeply miss him. Further survived by esteemed friend Margarito along with many relatives and dear friends who he cared deeply for. He is preceded in death by his brother Ronald and his parents August and Idella.
Leonard’s passion besides our Lord and his family was work. Noffke Tree Farms, Noffke Roofing Company and Mequon Roofing Supply were founded by Len and Lucy, and hard work made them very successful. He touched the lives of many with his God fearing life and respect for all people. Known as “Grandpa” to young and old alike, thousands had a piece of his heart brought into their homes each Christmas holiday with a tree he had grown on his farms. Leonard served our country in the 32nd Infantry Division WI National Guard throughout the 1950’s.
THE HISTORY OF NOFFKE TREE FARMS, NOFFKE ROOFING & MEQUON ROOFING SUPPLY
Our story begins over 58 years ago, when Leonard Noffke met Lucille Beyer at the Eagles Ballroom and they fell in love. Leonard was roofing for a local roofing company, and Lucy was a secretary. After they were married in 1952, Leonard decided to start his own roofing company, and to add extra income during the off seasons they started growing Christmas Trees.
Leonard and Lucille worked hard at their newly found businesses, but they found time to expand their family. The Noffke household was very busy with four children, and two businesses. After roofing all week, they would pack up everyone and head to Wautoma, where they spent the weekend working on trees. They slept in a tiny camper and cooked outside.
Things sped up over the following years. Len Noffke Roofing was now a stable company and the trees were providing the extra needed income to feed four growing kids. In the early 70’s, Ken and Bill joined the growing roofing company and Len and Lucy expanded their tree land in Waushara County, adding Red Granite and Hancock. In 1979, Noffke Roofing left it’s Milwaukee location on Teutonia Ave in Milwaukee and moved to Mequon. This was the first year that Noffke Trees were sold in Mequon as well as their established tree lot on Fond Du Lac Ave. in Milwaukee.
It was also the in late 70’s when Len and Ken became excited and started installing a product that had been around since the late 60’s, and was becoming the best thing for flat roofing – EPDM rubber roofing. This was a huge turning point for Noffke Roofing and a time of huge growth. With the success of EPDM, we formed MEQUON ROOFING SUPPLY in 1982. Things grew fast over the next decade: including their family, with the addition of their children’s spouses and 12 grandchildren.
In the early 90’s, Ken took over the Roofing company, while Bill took on the responsibility of the nursery division of Noffke Tree Farms, which included nursery stock as well as Landscaping. Len and Lucy remained active in the Christmas tree farm. We had tree lots in Milwaukee, Grafton and Mequon. After losing Bill in 1998, Noffke Tree Farms stayed focused on the Christmas tree farm. The “Choose & Cut” was expanded and the focus put on our Mequon tree farm. Today we are blessed with thousands of families who share their Christmas tradition with us.
Over the past 58 years, we have installed millions of square feet of roofing, planted and harvested hundreds of thousands of trees, and sold thousands of roofing products. Leonard has passed on to the next generations, the drive to succeed. To provide superior customer service, quality products and excellent workmanship.
He is dearly missed, but will live in our hearts as we continue his promise. We thank both Leonard & Lucy for their dreams and hard work which have allowed us to be blessed to have touched so many lives. We’d like to say “Thank you” to all of our patrons for making us a success.