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Merrill A. Gehrke, 92, of Brownton

Merrill Gehrke
Merrill A. Gehrke, 92, of Brownton, died Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at Glencoe Regional Health Services Long Term Care in Glencoe.
 
Funeral services were held Wednesday, March 2, at Grace Lutheran Church in Brownton with the Rev. Andrew Hermodson-Olsen officiating. Bonnie Westmiller was the organist. Andrew and Rosine Hermodson-Olsen sang “How Great Thou Art.” Congregational hymns were “Softly and Tenderly” and “Amazing Grace.”
 
Casket bearers were David Schwarzrock, Adrian Snyder, Lloyd Weber, Clinton Rettig, Gerald Schuett and James Ricke. Interment was in the church cemetery.
 
Merrill August Richard Gehrke was born May 20, 1923, in Round Grove Township, Stewart, the son of Albert and Esther (Polzin) Gehrke. He was baptized as an infant on June 10, 1923, by the Rev. Karl Haerle, and was confirmed in his faith as a youth on April 10, 1938, by the Rev. G. Bents, both at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Fernando. He received his education at District 37, rural Stewart.
 
On Oct. 11, 1950, he was united in marriage to Delores Schwarzrock at Grace Lutheran Church in Brownton. Their marriage was blessed with a daughter, Jerilyn. The couple resided and farmed in rural Brownton, and later moved to a town home in Brownton in 2010. In 2013, when he needed assistance with his daily care, Mr. Gehrke became a resident of Glencoe Regional Health Services Long Term Care. The couple shared 65 years of marriage.
 
Mr. Gehrke farmed most of his life, and had dairy cows for about 35 years. He especially enjoyed farming with his son-in-law and grandsons. He was a Super Crost seed dealer, and served as treasurer at Grace Lutheran Church in Brownton. He was known for being a good neighbor.
 
Mr. Gehrke liked playing cards, fishing, gardening and listening to polka music. He especially enjoyed his wife’s great cooking. His grandsons were the joy of his life, and enjoyed spending time with them, as well as other family and friends. He had a kind and gentle spirit.
 
He is survived by his wife, Delores Gehrke of Brownton; daughter and son-in-law, Jerilyn and Randy Ricke of Winthrop; grandchildren, Ryan Ricke of Hutchinson and Dustin Ricke of Brownton; sister, Lois Renner of Victoria; and many other relatives and friends.
 
He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Esther Gehrke; brother, Willmer Gehrke; and brother-in-law, Norman Renner.
 
Arrangements were with the Dobratz-Hantge Chapel in Hutchinson. Online obituaries and guest book are available at www.hantge.com.