He was born on November 13, 1931, the son of the late William and Elsie (Robbert) Oehlke. Vern served his country in the US Army during the Korean War from 1952-54. He met his future wife through an introduction from his army buddy, Eugene Helgeson, and on December 11, 1954, Vern married his soulmate Jean Jenson at Scandinavia Lutheran Church. Together they were blessed with 61 years of marriage and six beautiful children. Jean preceded him in death on April 10, 2016. Vern established Oehlke Electric in Fremont over 50 years ago, where he worked as electrician. He enjoyed snowmobiling, bowling, traveling, playing cards and spending time with his friends and family. Vern especially liked playing cribbage whenever and wherever he got a chance. He was a great fundraiser for the community, always selling raffle tickets for some organization. There wasn’t a time when he didn’t have multiple books of raffle tickets in his shirt pocket. He also loved telling jokes. He laughed the hardest at his own stories, but they were enjoyed by all. Vern would start out by saying, “Did you hear this one?”, and of course we probably had, but it was worth hearing a second and third time just to see the twinkle in his eyes when he delivered the punchline…right or not. Vern enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren in their sporting events over the years, and of course watching his beloved Packers. He loved to tinker in his shop and there wasn’t anything he couldn’t fix. He also enjoyed riding his scooter on Tuesday nights with the Fremont gang. Vern was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fremont, and served on the Finance Committee and in various capacities throughout the years. He was also a member of the Fremont- Wolf River American Legion Post 391 for over 60 years.
Vern is survived by four sons, Greg (MaryAnn), Fremont; Steve (Mary) and Brian (Betsy), both Weyauwega; and Terry, Fremont; two daughters, Candace (Bill) Mitchell and Kathy (Scott) Krause, both of Fremont; 15 grandchildren: Tanner (Kristin )Oehlke, Miranda (Keith) Ziemba, Brieanne Oehlke (Bobby LaBerge), Luke (Amanda) Mitchell, Emily Mitchell (Cody Loughrin), Becca (Casey) Schalkowski, Jessica Hansen, Matt (Devin) Oehlke, Beau (Hailey) Oehlke, Brett Oehlke, Josh (Haley) Oehlke, MacKenzie Oehlke; Adam, Jordan and Hailey Jo Krause; nine great-grandchildren: Cullen, Sean, Payton, Ty, Liv, Adelynn, Bronson, Raelyn, and Evah; two sisters-in-law, Donna Swenson and Lois (Leland) Thompson; two brother-in-laws, Reuben (Jane) Jenson and Herbie (Joyce) Jenson; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, his mother and father-in-law, Herbert and Bertha Jenson; a sister, Lucinda (Allan) Niemuth, a brother, Veldor Oehlke and a brother-in-law, James Swenson.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 107 Tustin Rd., Fremont. Pastor Stephen Pope will officiate. Burial with military rites will be in Lakeside Cemetery, Fremont. Visitation will be held on Monday from 4-8 p.m. at the Lewin Funeral Home, Fremont, and on Tuesday, at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of service. A memorial fund has been established.
Vern’s family would like to thank St. Elizabeth Hospital. Wisconsin Veterans Home and Heartland Hospice, as well as the many family and friends for all of their care, prayers and visits during this time.