Gerald W. Rathke, 85

Gerald W. Rathke, 85, of Jackson, died on Jan. 3, 2009

Gerald was born in Port Washington on June 6, 1923, the son of the late Oscar and Dorothea (nee Schachel) Rath-ke. He married Florence (nee Kohlwey) on Dec. 6, 1947, at St. Paul Lutheran Church.

Gerald was a farmer in the town of Grafton. When he retired in 1988, he and Florence moved to Manitowish Waters. They moved to Jackson in 2001. Gerald enjoyed traveling both home and abroad. Besides snowmobiling, they also en-joyed many parties and spending time with their friends.

Gerald was a trustee of the Grafton Library Board and a Town of Grafton supervisor, both for 12 years. He was also a member of the Ozaukee Barber-shop Chorus. Gerald was active in his church, especially as a member of the male choir.

Gerald is survived by Flo-rence, his wife of 61 years; children Sue (Robert) Bliese, Jayne (Marc) Nienhuis and Jon (Christine) Rathke; grandchildren Jon (fiancée Heidi), Chet, Carol, Anna, Rachel (Bill) Fendley and Mark (Cyndy) Barnard; brother Oscar (Har-riet) Rathke; two great-grandchildren; two brothers-in-law; five sisters-in-law; many nieces and nephews; other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Eugene Rathke and Waldemar (June) Rathke; seven brothers-in-law and six sisters-in-law.

A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009 at 4:30 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Grafton. Visitation will be held at the church on Wednesday from 2 p.m. until time of service. Private interment at St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery.

Memorials to St. Paul Church or School or St. Paul Organ Fund appreciated.

Mueller Funeral Home of Cedarburg is assisting the family. Online condolences may be sent by visiting