Jean Gehrke, 88, of Wausau passed away peacefully at her home on Sunday, October 13, 2019.
She was born August 16, 1931 in Wausau to the late Harold and Hermandina (Bloedel) Sommerfeldt. Jean was a graduate of Wausau High School. Jean met the love of her life, Wally Gehrke. They were married on December 29, 1951 at St. Stephen United Church of Christ, Merrill. Jean and Wally were members of the Star Dusters dance group. They loved to dance to the sounds of Big Band music at Colonial Ballroom and the different ballrooms around Wausau. In her younger years, Jean volunteered at St. Paul’s United Church Christ and worked for Welcome Wagon. She enjoyed bowling, playing Bridge, and cooking and baking for her family, friends, and Wally’s co-workers at the Wausau Police Dept.
Survivors include her children, Linda Gehrke of Wausau, Stuart (Jody) Gehrke of Merrill, five grandchildren, Rebecca (Brian) Hill, Victoria (Jeremy) Hankins, Cynthia (Ryan) Orvis, Richard (Jennie) Gehrke, Brayden Gehrke, nine great grandchildren, John and Louis Gehrke, Steven, James, William and Laura Hill, Hunter Hankins, Gabriel and Logan Orvis, four sisters, Shirley (Jerome) Nowak, Nancy Manowski, Lois (Robert) Ruether, Leta Klumpyan, brother, Harold “Buz” Sommerfeldt and sister-in-law, Marlene Sommerfeldt. Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Wally, son, Steven, sister, Betty Viergutz, brother, Vernon Sommerfeldt and brothers-in-law, Michael Manowski and Thomas Klumpyan.
Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Monday, October 21, 2019 at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 426 Washington St., Wausau. Reverend Philip Schneider will officiate. Burial will be in Maple Grove Cemetery, village of Maine. Visitation will be Sunday from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St., Wausau and at church on Monday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services. You may sign our family guest book at helke.com.