Walter “Doc” Ehlke celebrated his 100th Birthday on July 17 with over 100 friends and family in attendance. Since the passing of his wife, Esther, he resides at Trinity Terrace in New London.
Walter delights in telling stories of the past years. He tells of the time the doctor delivered him at home. He came by horse and buggy. On his way home after the birth the doctor told his driver that he didn’t expect that the baby would live till morning. Well, “Doc” proved him wrong!
Walter was a cheesemaker for 30 years and also worked at the Readfield feed mill. He got his nickname because when he worked for the feed mill they sent him to Illinois to learn how to doctor to chickens. Thus the name “Doc” was given him. He lived in Readfield all his life. He attended school at the Yellow Stone Trail, a one room school house.
Walter and Esther, his wife of 71 years were well known for their polka dancing and won many trophies for that. You could have watched them on TV or at the Golden Nugget dance hall in Pine River or other dance halls.
Walter loves steam locomotives and can tell stories about them also.
Doc and Esther enjoyed two children; Jim Ehlke and Joanne Kuppernus. Jim and his wife Sharon have two children; Steve (wife Karen) and Lisa Zaddack (husband Mike). Joanne and husband Jerry Kuppernus have three sons; Todd, Tim and Troy(wife Liz).
There are seven great grandchildren; Kayla and Dylan Ehlke, Lauren Zaddack and Candace, Konner, Tyler and Riley Kuppernus. Walter is in great health and we hope to hear many more stories from him.