FUNERAL SERVICES: 11:00 am on Friday, March 18, 2011 at St. Johns Lutheran Church in Park Rapids, MN with Pastors James Neubauer and Tim Heinecke officiating.
VISITATION: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm on Thursday, March 17, 2011 at the Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids, MN and for one hour prior to the services at the church on Friday.
INTERMENT: Greenwood Cemetery, Park Rapids, MN
SURVIVORS: His wife, Ruth; his four children: Ronald (Carla) Lehrke of St. Paul, MN, David (Mary) Lehrke of Park Rapids, Stanley (Carol) Lehrke of St. Paul and Charlotte (Jeff) Zurn of Lakeville, MN; his 9 grandchildren: Chad Lehrke, Lisa (John) Stipe, Ryan (Penny) Zurn, Scott Lehrke, Derek Lehrke, Shandra (Nate) Soderberg, Tyler Lehrke, Jaclyn Lehrke and Zach Lehrke; his two precious great grandchildren: Caly Zurn and Maren Stipe; his two sisters: Margie Tretbar of Ponsford and Alberta Davis of Ft. Wayne, Indiana .
CHARLIE W. LEHRKE
March 23, 1926 – March 13, 2011
Charlie W. Lehrke, age 84, a life long Park Rapids, MN area resident, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Osage Township on Sunday, March 13, 2011.
Charlie was born on March 23, 1926 in Green Valley Township of Becker County to Fred and Emma (Pritchard) Lehrke. It was in this same area that he attended country school and grew into manhood helping on his parent’s farm. As a young man, he entered the United States Air Force where he proudly served his country during the end of World War II. Upon his honorable discharge, Charlie returned home to the Park Rapids area to a farm in Osage Township he had sent money home to purchase with his pay from the Air Force. On April 1, 1950, Charlie was united in marriage to Ruth Evelyn Harris in Sisseton, SD. This union was blessed with four children: Ronald, David, Stanley and Charlotte. Charlie enjoyed farm life and raised a fine herd of Brown Swiss Dairy Cattle which he cared for until the early 1960’s when they sold the cows and started a hog farrowing operation. Charlie raised and sold many feeder pigs until his retirement in the late 1970’s. During his retirement years, Charlie enjoyed putting up hay which he sold to a loyal list of customers and cutting firewood to heat their home each winter. He also enjoyed planting a large vegetable garden which he nurtured into fruitful abundance to share with his family and friends. He was a people person who was quick to invite his neighbors or hay customers in for a cup of coffee or a delicious meal prepared by his hospitable wife. Charlie was very proud of his grandchildren and especially enjoyed following their athletic competition in baseball or hockey and their musical achievements. He was a life long and faithful member of St Johns Lutheran Church in Park Rapids where he had served as an usher. He was also a life time member of the Otto Hendrickson American Legion Post #212 in Park Rapids. Above all, Charlie devoted his entire life to his precious wife, Ruth, his children; grandchildren and great grandchildren who he loved with all his heart.
Charlie will be lovingly remembered by his wife for these past 61 years, Ruth; his four children: Ronald (Carla) Lehrke of St. Paul, MN, David (Mary) Lehrke of Park Rapids, Stanley (Carol) Lehrke of St. Paul and Charlotte (Jeff) Zurn of Lakeville, MN; his 9 grandchildren: Chad Lehrke, Lisa (John) Stipe, Ryan (Penny) Zurn, Scott Lehrke, Derek Lehrke, Shandra (Nate) Soderberg, Tyler Lehrke, Jaclyn Lehrke and Zach Lehrke; his two precious great grandchildren: Caly Zurn and Maren Stipe; his two sisters: Margie Tretbar of Ponsford and Alberta Davis of Ft. Wayne, Indiana as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters: Isabelle, Dorothy, and Esther and his brother, Jim.
Funeral services will be held 11 AM Friday, March 18, 2011 at St Johns Lutheran Church in Park Rapids with Pastor James Neubauer and Pastor Tim Heineke officiating. Music will be provided by his grandson, Scott Lehrke. The casket bearers will be his nephews: Dan & Tim Lehrke, Larry Luckason, Gary Pritchard, Terry Tretbar, Paul Tretbar and Don Tretbar. The honorary casket bearers will be his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Interment will be in the Greenwood Cemetery of Park Rapids. Following the service, a luncheon will be provided by the Evening Guild of St Johns Lutheran Church. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 PM on Thursday, March 17th at the Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids and for one hour prior to the services on Friday at the church.