Alfred G. "Happy" Hanke

Jan. 29, 1908 - April 8, 2006

Alfred G. "Happy" Hanke died Saturday, April 8, 2006, at Linden Grove, Waukesha, at age 98.

He was born Jan. 29, 1908, in Vesper in Wood County, the son of Gotlieb and Albertine (nee Steuck) Hanke. The youngest of nine children, Al lived in Waukesha County most of his lifetime. He married Elvera Thompson on Aug. 28, 1928, and together they raised two sons and one daughter. Vera passed away in 1985 after a battle with cancer. Al began working at Kohler Sand and Gravel in New Berlin in 1928. It was there he learned to operate the shovel and crane, which began his lifelong career and love. Later, he transferred to Jaeger Sand and Gravel, retiring in 1970 after 42 years. He was a member of Operating Engineers Local #139 Union for 67 years.

After retiring from the gravel pit, he worked for Fred Plehn at the Auction Depot in Waukesha for 12 years. He loved to go to dances, where he was usually the life of the party and earned his nickname "Happy."

He later was united in marriage to Esther (nee Zaic) Johnson on Jan. 20, 1990. Al was a devoted husband, loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Al will be sadly missed by his wife, Esther of Waukesha; three children, Al Jr. (Barb) of Helenville, Arleene (Jack) Fuller of Tucson, Ariz., and Stewert (Pat) of Waukesha; nine grandchildren, Mike (Cathy) Hanke, Nannette (Dave) Farris, Natalie (Greg) Furmanek, Laura (Jeff) Ott, Vicki (Kevin Reger) Fuller, Rachael (Tom) Cizmas, Chad Hanke, Troy (Lisa) Hanke and Jodi Hanke; 16 great-grandchildren, Erin, Emma, Hannah, Charlie, Angie, Jennifer, Mike, Christian, Marcus, Dylan, Sarah, John, Brandon, Nicholas, Olivia and Lilly. Al is also survived by Estherís three daughters, Beth (Ronald) Knox of Highland Village, Texas, Donna (Michael) Vincent of Wales and Susan (Michael) Sugrue of Waukesha; Estherís six grandchildren, Christine Vincent, Alan Knox, Amy (Jason) OíNeal, Eric (Kari) Vincent, Jill (Lonny) La Paz and Ryan (Christa Peters-Sugrue) Sugrue; and seven great-grandchildren, Megan, Collin, Madison, Nolan, Miles, Brady and Chase. Also surviving are two sisters-in-law, Faye Thompson and Harriet Thompson; and one brother-in-law, John Champan; nieces and nephews.

Al is preceded in death by his first wife, Vera, his parents, three sisters, Minnie, Ella and Emma, and five brothers, Fred, August, Edwin, Herbert and Emil.

Visitation will be Tuesday, April 11, 2006, from noon until the 2 p.m. funeral service at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1052 Whiterock Ave., Waukesha, WI 53186. A funeral service for Al will be held on Tuesday, April 11, 2006, at 2 p.m. at the church with the Rev. Larry Gates officiating.

Entombment will be at Prairie Home Cemetery immediately following the service. Memorials may be made to Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church (address above), to Linden Grove Health Care Center, 425 N. University Drive, Waukesha, WI 53188, or to the charity of the donorís choice.

For additional information, please contact the Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Waukesha, at 542-6609, or for an online obituary, directions or to leave condolences go to www.waukeshafuneralhome.com.