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U.S. News
Passenger: Louis J. Nacke II

Sunday, October 28, 2001

Even as a boy, Lou Nacke had a need to know. He'd ferret out each year's Christmas gifts, unwrapping them to see what was in store, rewrapping them and then informing his three siblings so they could ask their parents for substitutions before Christmas.

Louis J. Nacke II
dot.gif Distribution manager, Kay-Bee Toys, 42, New Hope, Bucks County
Wife, Amy; sons, Joseph Nicholas, 18, Louis Paul II, 14
He was on his way to Sacramento for business

He also had a need to be the typical big brother, swerving the family snowmobile to throw his siblings off and helping his sister see how long she could hold her breath by holding her head under water. He also gave her a pair of diamond earrings.

As an adult, Nacke was 5 feet 9 inches and 195 pounds, with a weightlifter's gait and an endearing charm. He knew a little bit about everything and wasn't shy about letting people know.

Nacke graduated from a Philadelphia high school in 1977, after attending several different schools while his family moved from Virginia to Scranton to Monroeville to Olean, N.Y. and finally to Philadelphia for his father's job with A&P.

While living in Monroeville, Nacke ran through a glass door and required 100 stitches. Years later, remembering that incident, he got a Superman tattoo on his left shoulder.

His years in Western Pennsylvania made him a loyal Pittsburgh sports fan, revering the local teams so much that when he bought memorabilia, such as a Roberto Clemente jersey, he would frame it.

He worked a series of shipping and receiving jobs with various chains. While at Kmart as an assistant manager, he met his wife, Amy, who was doing temp work at the store.

In 1997, Nacke was hired at Kay-Bee Toys, supervising 400 employees at an 800,000-square-foot distribution center in Clinton, N.J. He commuted an hour to work each way so that his wife could live close to her family.

In fact, since their wedding on Sept. 16, 2000, the couple had lived with her parents while building their own home nearby.

Nacke and Robert Weisberg, his father-in-law, were also good friends, smoking cigars together and enjoying wines Nacke bought over the Internet.

On Sept. 16, Amy celebrated her one-year wedding anniversary with her family at Nacke's favorite restaurant. They toasted him with a California Cabernet he'd bought.

"We said, 'We're going to miss you like hell and you're probably mad as hell that we opened this wine,' " Weisberg said.

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