Richard Gehrke, 83, of Oelwein passed away Sunday August 30, 2020 at Hillcrest Home in Sumner. Visitation will be from 9:30-10:30 AM on Friday September 4, 2020 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Oelwein. Memorial Mass will then begin at 10:30 AM with the Most Reverend Michael Jackels officiating. Inurnment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery at Oelwein. Memorials may be directed to the family.
Due to state and federal guidelines on gatherings regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing is required. Those in attendance are required to wear a mask.
Richard Paul Gehrke was born in Oelwein on February 11, 1937 to parents John and Claribel (Miller) Gehrke. He graduated from Sacred Heart Catholic School in Oelwein and then attended Northeast Iowa Community College in Calmar. On September 9, 1961 he was united in marriage with Barbara Kauten at St. Francis Catholic Church in Fayette.
Richard had been employed with the Chicago Great Western Railway, served as Sexton of Grandview Cemetery in Fayette and was an appliance repair technician for Sears. He served honorably in the Iowa National Guard for 12 ½ years. He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus and the Rosary Society in Oelwein. Richard was ordained Deacon in the Catholic Church in 1984, serving at St. Francis Catholic Church in Fayette and St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Hazleton.
Left to celebrate Richard’s life is his wife Barbara; his in-laws: Ruby Gehrke, Bob and Margaret Rosenbaum, John Johnson, Teresa and Boyce Harker, Mary and Jim Lincoln, Bill and Joann Kauten, Helen Girard, Alice Kauten, Francis and Mary Kauten, Ralph and Erica Kauten; forty nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother Robert Gehrke; his nephews: David Gehrke and Bobby Rosenbaum; his niece Sheri Rosenbaum; his in-laws Lawrence and Barbara Kauten, Jimmy Kauten and Rosemary Johnson.