SUMNER — The two people found dead at a Town of Sumner property Tuesday evening reportedly were Jim and Nedra Lemke of rural Fort Atkinson, owners of J-N-L Wrought Iron.
Nedra is the sister of Kevin Anderson, whom law enforcement officers are searching for in connection with the deaths and a fire Tuesday evening at the County Highway A residence that had been owned by their late father, Verdal Anderson.
Verdal passed away June 5; the property was in probate.
The Rev. Rusty Lyon, senior pastor at Faith Community Christian Church in Fort Atkinson, of which the Lemkes were members, posted a message on the church's Facebook page Thursday afternoon.
"Along with each of you I am reeling from word of the death of Jim and Nedra Lemke," he wrote. "Even though I am your senior pastor, I am also a human being. Along with you, my heart has been crushed. Over the last 12 hours, I have broken down in tears many, many times. I’m aware that many of us have been brought to tears, as well. Knowing how much we loved them, how could we not?
"I want to assure you that grieving to the point of shedding tears is healthy and good," he continued. "That is how Jesus responded when he came to the tomb of his good friend, Lazarus, in John 11:35. Do you remember those words? 'Jesus wept.'"
The pastor cited Matthew 5:4: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Also, Psalms 34:18:18: "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Rev. Lyon noted that a memorial service will be planned.
"Please be in prayer for Jim and Nedra’s children and grandchildren, and extended family," he concluded. "Be praying for our church family at Faith Community Church. So many of us have been deeply influenced by their love and lives of service. Jim and Nedra are going to sorely missed. Yet, our significant loss is heaven’s gain."