Wilfred Frederick Gehrke, 97, of Wausau, passed on Friday, June 14, 2019 with his loving family by his side.
He was born in the Town of Easton on February 15, 1922 to the late Carl and Louise (Schlei) Gehrke. Wilfred served his Country honorably as a First-Class Technical Sargent, Company B, 3139 Signal Service Battalion in the United States Army during WWII. He was stationed at the US Headquarters in Frankfort, Germany, where he worked along side General Dwight D. Eisenhower, assigned to lead a unit, and directed troops where to move in the European Theater. His unit received two Army Distinguished Unit Citation Awards. In addition, Wilfred earned the WWII Victory Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and the Army of Occupation Medal. He met the love of his life, Marianne Emma Rademann, while dancing at Litza’s Ballroom. They later were married on September 2, 1950, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, in the Town of Pine River. Wilfred and Marianne made their home in Wausau, while raising their four children; Sandra, Wayne and twins LaNae and Alane. Wilfred was a machinist for 37 years for Wausau Motor Parts. He took great pride in his family and will be remembered for his strength, perseverance, military service, sense of humor, smile and firm hugs. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed going to Lange’s auctions. He loved to listen to polkas and could often be found dancing with his bride most weekends. Ich Liebe Dich, Dad, Grandpa, Uncle and friend. Until we are with you again.
Survivors include his four children, Sandra (Robert Vining) Richardson of Node, WY, Wayne (Tama) Gehrke of Weston, twin daughters, LaNae Maki of Madison, and Alane Flora of Weston; seven grandchildren, Alexander (Tyler) Richardson, Malana Gehrke and Jarek Gehrke, Lance (Liz) Maki, Trevor Maki and Daniel Maki, and Erin (Tanner Hanke) Flora; three great-grandchildren, Chance and Gage Richardson, and baby Hanke due in December; sister-in-law, Florence Schmidt of Menomonee Falls; brother-in-law, Carl Rademann of Reno, NV; as well as many nieces and nephews. Wilfred was preceded in death by his wife Marianne of 64 years; his parents; his son-in-law, Bruce Richardson; sister, Freida Lange; and three brothers, Edward, Herman, and Carl.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 am on Saturday, June 22, 2019, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 501 Stewart Ave, Wausau. Pastor Zach Holdorf will officiate. Visitation will take place from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St, Wausau and again at the church on Saturday from 9:00 am until the time of services. Entombment will take place at Restlawn Memorial Park with full military honors. You may sign the family guestbook at helke.com
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family.
The family would like to acknowledge and especially thank the nurses and team of staff from Mount View Care Center, Applegate Reflections, Aspirus Wausau Hospital, Dr. Jordan Ashton and Kathy Smrz-NP from Marshfield Clinic, Dr. Hamid Rezazadeh from Aspirus Cancer Center, Dr. Paul Luetmer from Aspirus CVA, Interim Health Care, Wausau Manor, Never Forgotten Honor Flight Family, VFW Burns Post 388 , VFW Post 10262 of Plover; as well as the many friends who have supported Wilfred’s family throughout his care.