Keith Franklin Gehrke, age 90, of Manawa, WI, passed away at St. Joseph Nursing Home, New London on Sept. 25, 2011, after a lingering illness. He was born May 12, 1921, to Bessie (Prill-Zemple) and Albert Gehrke of Manawa. He was a life-time member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Manawa, and a graduate of Little Wolf High School. He attended two years of college at UW Stevens Point before returning home to take over his family’s farm. On May 25, 1948, he married Virginia Miller of Clintonville, at St. Martin Lutheran Church. He was a farmer all his life, a member of the volunteer fire-fighters, enjoyed raising and selling dachshunds and other dogs, and was a hunting enthusiast. Keith is survived by his wife, Virginia; two children, Kent (Vicki) Gehrke of Weyauwega, and Kristin (Bart) Benbow of Appleton; three grandchildren, Lacie (Tim) Callan, Carie (Rob) Eiting, Michael (Rachel) Gehrke; and three great granddaughters, Amelia Eiting, and Gabrielle and Isabelle Callan. He is also survived by his sister Lucille (Gehrke) Jorgensen of Weyauwega; as well as nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, Malvern (Katie) Zemple, and brother in-law Everette Jorgensen.
A family service was held on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Cline Hanson Dahlke Funeral Home in Manawa at 3 p.m. An open visitation followed from 4 – 7:30 p.m. A committal service at Little Wolf Cemetery will be held later.
The family wishes to thank the staff of St. Joseph Nursing Home for the professional, caring treatment he received while there.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to St. Paul Lutheran Church of Manawa.