JoAnne Gehrke, 61

JoAnne GehrkeJoAnne Gehrke (nee Wysocki) passed into Eternal Life on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017.

Born to Raymond and Violetta (nee Gilbert) Wysocki on Jan. 6, 1956, she graduated from West Bend West High School in 1974. An avid cook, she worked for several area restaurants include Bublitzís Family Restaurant in Hartford, Schneiderís Restaurant in the town of Polk, and the Parkside Cafe in Jackson. For several years she was a co-owner of JoAnnís Parkside Cafe in Jackson. She also worked for many years as a cook at West Bend Mutual.

JoAnne was an active member of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jackson as a Sunday School and Vacation Bible School teacher, leader of the youth group, and participated in women of the church and quilting groups.

She married David Gehrke on Nov. 7, 1992, and became a mother to Davidís young son Christopher. JoAnne and David led an active life involving railroading and model trains. They hosted an open house twice a year at their West Bend home after moving there in 1993. Hundreds of friends and railroad fans attended every year. In the last 10 years, JoAnne was a social organizer with the Milwaukee Light Engineering Society.

Wherever JoAnne and David were involved, JoAnne could be counted on to be at the center of activity. She was a lively, social person who loved to make everyone feel welcome. A ruthless organizer, JoAnne made sure there would be enough hands to share the work, enough good food to keep all the helpers fueled and enough company to make every gathering a joyful one.

She is survived by her husband, David; their son, Christopher (Heidi); mother-in-law, Edith Gehrke; sister-in-law, Ines (Terry) Voss; her brother, Michael (Jenna) Wysocki; and other relatives and countless friends.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Schmidt Funeral Home in Jackson (N168 W20135 Main St.) with the Rev. Steve Day officiating. Burial will follow in Christ Lutheran Cemetery. The family will greet visitors Saturday at the funeral home from 10 a.m.-1:45 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Milwaukee Light Engineering Society for the building of the train depot are appreciated.

The Schmidt Funeral Home in Jackson is serving the family. Online guestbook and condolences are available at