Douglas Adolph Dahlke, 91, Wausau, died Monday, April 15, 2019 at Wausau Manor Nursing Home under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.
Douglas was born August 13, 1927 on the family farm in Rib Falls to the late Walter and Selma (Zunker) Dahlke. He was baptized in the family home on September 11, 1927 and confirmed on June 1, 1941 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Marathon. Douglas married Cleora Klockziem on June 9, 1951 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Town of Stettin. The couple was blessed with five children: Susan, Beverly, Linda, Donald and Jerome. For over 30 years, Douglas worked for Marmet Corporation as a welder supporting his family. After 48 years together, Cleora died on April 30, 2000.
Douglas was a very simple, old-fashioned man whose principles and hard work ethic were passed along to his children and grandchildren. Early in his life, he worked at a sawmill from sun up to sun down for a dollar a day, never complaining, simply working hard. Douglas was also a man dedicated to his faith. He was a member of First English Lutheran Church for most of his life and the family would attend Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Minocqua while staying at the family cottage on Papkee Lake in Minocqua. Douglas proudly helped build his own home and cottage and even dug the well that supplied the cottage. In his free time, Douglas enjoyed spending his time outdoors as much as possible: fishing, hunting, making wood, cutting grass and snowmobiling. Following his retirement, he loved going to the farm to drive his favorite red IH tractors and kept busy tinkering on whatever he could.
Douglas is survived by his loving children, Beverly (Everett) Schmidt, Linda (Lyle) Zernicke, Donald (Deb Kuether) Dahlke and Jerome (Ann) Dahlke; son-in-law, Harris Thomas; grandchildren, Shannon (Jerry) Kniess, Shawn (Lisa) Thomas, Nathanel Schmidt, Ethan Schmidt, Benjamin (Leslie) Zernicke, Dustin Zernicke, Kim (Jesse Kloth) Zernicke; great-grandchildren, Brittany, Brenton, Holly, Megan, Emily (John), Jacob, Tidas, River, Brooklyn and Axton; great-great-grandchild, Brentley; sisters, June (Elroy Jr. “Sonny”) Roeder and Sharon (Merlin) Goetsch; brother-in-law Levi Klockziem and sisters-in-law, Delphine Klockziem and Elaine Klockziem; and extended family and friends. He is preceded in death by his daughter, Susan Thomas; and siblings, Stella Schuster, Wilbert Dahlke, Hubert Dahlke, Eleanor Kage, Harold Dahlke and Lorraine Plautz.
The funeral service for Douglas will be at 11:30 AM on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at First English Lutheran Church, Wausau. Rev. Erik Olson will officiate. Visitation will be from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Monday, April 22 at Helke Funeral Home; resuming at 10:00 AM on Tuesday at the church until the time of service. Burial will be at Rib View Cemetery at a later date. Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our family guestbook at helke.com.
Memorials may be directed to the First English Lutheran Church Memorial Fund (402 N. 3rd Ave, Wausau, WI 54401).
Sincere gratitude goes to Dr. Noel Sonnek and the nurses and staff of Wausau Manor Nursing Home for their compassionate care for Douglas.