LaVerne was born on December 20, 1927 in Clintonville as the daughter of the late Harold and Emma (Schoeneck) Lang. She grew up in the Clintonville area and graduated from Clintonville High School. As a young woman, LaVerne worked for several years at the Hanson Glove Factory and later at the sauerkraut factory in Bear Creek. On August 28, 1948 LaVerne was united in marriage to Harold Gehrke at the Christus Lutheran Church in Clintonville. The couple farmed in the Town of Larrabee, Waupaca County for many years and in 1972 went into the tavern business as the owners of Gehrke’s Swamp Inn. The couple hosted many trail rides and Easter egg hunts over the years and enjoyed a little “BS” with all of their patrons. Harold preceded his wife in death on September 26, 2008. LaVerne was a member of the Christus Lutheran Church in Clintonville where she was active with the C.L.C.W. and used her quilting talents to donate many quilts. One of LaVerne’s greatest passions was serving people in need. She was very active with the VFW Ladies Auxiliary #664 of Clintonville where she served as past President and among other things, enjoyed making crafts for all of the local veterans residing at area nursing facilities. She was also active as a member of the Restless Rider’s Club and the Marion Homemakers. LaVerne had a great personality when it came time for selling tickets for various clubs in the area; making it hard for anyone to say “no thanks”. As an avid baker, she believed that a recipe was just a suggestion. LaVerne saved a little of everything and was known for her pickles and her brutal honesty.
Survivors include: her daughter, Lavonne (George) Beyersdorf, Clintonville; son, Robert Gehrke, Colorado; daughters-in-law, Susan Gehrke, Clintonville and Anne Meyer, Brillion; grandchildren: Pamela (Kirt) Kettenhoven, Clintonville; Allen (Nicole) Beyersdorf, Pella; Patrick Beyersdorf, Clintonville; Tara (Kenny) Peeters, Clintonville; and Jade (fiance, Doug Janke) Gehrke, Brillion; great-grandchildren, Darien Kettenhoven, Makena Peeters, and a great-grandbaby on the way. LaVerne was preceded in death by her parents, husband Harold, son Daniel “Dan” Gehrke, grandchildren, Jessica, Aaron, and Nicole Gehrke, and an infant brother.
LaVerne’s funeral service will be held Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 11 a.m. at the Christus Lutheran Church in Clintonville with Rev. Benjamin Hollingsead officiating. Interment will follow at the Graceland Cemetery in Clintonville. Friends may call at the church on Tuesday from 9 a.m. until the time of the service. Memorials for LaVerne may be directed to the Christus Lutheran Church. The Eberhardt-Stevenson Funeral Home & Crematory of Clintonville is assisting her family with the arrangements. www.eberhardtstevenson.com