Obit: Gehrke, Thomas (1941 - 2011)  


Surnames: Gehrke, Sluzewski, Bechard


----Source: Marshfield News Herald (Marshfield, WI) 08/31/2011


Gehrke, Thomas (20 NOV 1941 - 30 AUG 2011)


Thomas Gehrke, 69, of Owen, died Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011, after a long battle with cancer.

Tom was born Nov. 20, 1941, in Owen, the son of Lewis and Anne Gehrke. At an early age, Tom began working with his father, Lewis, at the cheese factory in Longwood. Tom had a deep love for the outdoors and spent much time fishing and hunting from his early childhood to his final days here on Earth. 

Tom enjoyed serving as a volunteer with the Owen-Withee Fire Department, on which he served as chief for some time. He also loved various sports and was active on a bowling team, an archery team, and a trap shooting team for many years. Tom loved spending time with his family and grandchildren.

Tom married Dorothy Sluzewski of Owen on July 24, 1965, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Owen. Together they owned and operated Gehrke True Value Hardware Store in Owen for 24 years. Before purchasing the hardware store, Tom served in the National Guard for six years and worked at Foremost Foods. In retirement Tom operated Gehrke Advertising Agency. 

Tom is survived by his wife, Dorothy; their three children, Kathy (Ryan) Bechard of Chippewa Falls, Mark (Debra) Gehrke of Elk Mound, and Matthew (Karin) Gehrke of Eau Claire; his grandchildren, Serena Bechard, Lucas Bechard, Ava Gehrke, Halle Gehrke, Shawna Gehrke and Carley Gehrke. He is further survived by his brothers, Larry (Lois) Gehrke of Colby and John (Mary) Gehrke of Burnsville, Minn. 

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Lewis and Anne Gehrke; and his brother, Ron Gehrke of Owen. 

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2, 2011, at the Maurina-Schilling Funeral Home in Owen. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011, at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, 1414 W. Fifth St., Marshfield. 

A visitation will be held before the service from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. followed by Mass at 10 a.m.

Interment will be at Riverside Cemetery, Withee, following the service.



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