Remembering Luke Neddenriep
We just lost another pillar of our community. His name was Luke Neddenriep. All we see is the birth year, a dash and the year he passed away. There is much to say about that dash.
As a boy I can remember his mom and dad running the Carson Valley Mercantile. Their torch was passed on to Luke and Jerry, their sons.
I have so many fond memories of their store.
We had a flood just before Christmas in 1953 and all the bridges in town were out except Genoa Lane Bridge.
I remember my mom and dad had to get to town before Christmas in our 1952 green Chevrolet pickup. I did not know until later the reason was to pick up my new bicycle from the Merc.
Not only did the Merc have groceries, they had everything from underwear to farm machinery.
While my parents shopped, I would go upstairs and look at all the neat stuff. From harnesses to stoves, to bolts, screws, nails and everything you could imagine. What a service they provided to Carson Valley. They even had a pump service.
A friend of mine, Alton Anker, reminded me of Luke whistling all the time while he worked.
He was always happy, and his laughter was contagious. I can still hear it as I write this.
My grandparents retired to town, and lived very close to the store.
Years later, when my parents were very old, Luke told my dad that my grandparents would come into the store two or three times a day because they’d forgotten something.
Sometimes they even forgot to pay.
For years we charged our groceries and supplies.
We only paid in fall. I’m sure interest never crossed their minds. I wonder how much money was left on the books.
Luke and Martha were quite a team. After their retirement, they loved to help Jim Hussman (another pillar) with his cattle in the mountains of Alpine County.
I think he loved that the most.
He was very active in the town of Gardnerville, and in Trinity Lutheran Church. He lived two doors down the street from the church.
People like Luke made our Valley what it is today.
Honesty and hard work were his virtues. I think what was most important to him was serving people. I think his vacation and his pleasure were his work.
Luke was taken care of by his loving daughter Katie and her husband Pete until the end.
Goodbye, Luke. Your memories will live on forever in my mind.
You served all of us well, and now you need your rest. May God reward your faithfulness and kindness.