Gerald W. Rathke

Funeral services will be held for Gerald W. Rathke of Jackson at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 7, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Grafton. Gerald died on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009 at the age of 85. Visitation will be held at the church on Wednesday, from 2 p.m. until the time of service. Private interment will take place at St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery. Mueller Funeral Home in Cedarburg is assisting the family.

Gerald was born in Port Washington on June 6, 1923, the son of Oscar and Dorothea (nee Schachel) Rathke. On Dec. 6, 1947, he married Florence (nŽe Kohlwey) 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 later moved to Jackson in 2001. Gerald enjoyed traveling both home and abroad. Besides snowmobiling, Gerald and Florence also enjoyed 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 Barbershop Chorus. Gerald was active in his church, especially as a member of the men’s choir.

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

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

For online condolences, visit Memorials to St. Paul Lutheran Church or School or the St. Paul Organ Fund are appreciated.