Richard Gehrke, 83, of Oelwein, passed away Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020, at Hillcrest Home in Sumner. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 4, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Oelwein. Memorial Mass will then begin at 10:30 a.m. with the Most Rev. Michael Jackels officiating. Inurnment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Oelwein. Memorials may be directed to the family. For condolences, please visit www.geilenfeldfh.com.
Because of 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 Feb. 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 Sept. 9, 1961, he was united in marriage to 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 12½ years. He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus and the Rosary Society in Oelwein. Richard was an 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 are 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 and Ralph and Erica Kauten; and 40 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; and his in-laws, Lawrence and Barbara Kauten, Jimmy Kauten and Rosemary Johnson.