Author, publisher and hobby expert Bob Lemke died of congestive heart failure Tuesday morning at a hospital near his central Pennsylvania home.
Born in Wisconsin in 1951 and a fixture in the hobby since the 1970s, Lemke was influential in Krause Publications getting into the sports card and memorabilia publishing business with SCD and other titles. Working in the company’s coin publication division, he convinced company owner Chet Krause to buy the magazine in 1980. He was a columnist, editor, publisher and vice-president during his career with Krause, which was eventually purchased by F&W Media.
An avid sports fan and collector, Lemke also played a pivotal role in the launch of Baseball Cards Magazine and later became the founding editor of the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, a role he maintained nearly every year until recently. He collected, organized and produced large amounts of data for thousands of sets as the huge tome became a staple in the libraries of avid vintage card collectors.
Even after his retirement from Krause, Lemke remained active as a collector, researcher and writer, eventually launching his own blog where he discussed a wide variety of subjects and showed off his custom card creations. He posted there just a week ago.
He is survived by his wife Mary Ann (Henkel) Lemke, who he married in 1973; their daughter, Crystal Gearhart; and brothers and sister Jim, Tom, Dan and Carol.
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