Cover photo for Kathleen Mary Gehrke's Obituary
1947 Kathleen 2024

Kathleen Mary Gehrke

March 25, 1947 — March 26, 2024

Stevens Point

Kathleen M. Gehrke, 77, Stevens Point, passed away peacefully on March 26, 2024, at Dimensions Living, Stevens Point, surrounded by her family.

 

She was born on March 25, 1947, in Wausau, WI, daughter of the late Paul and Annette (Lochner) Gehrke.

 

Kathleen's kind ways, beautiful smile and warm disposition were felt by everyone around her, whether it be family, friends, or her "fur people". Kathleen was well known for being a helper; she didn't mind sacrificing time, energy or resources for those she loved. 

 

Kathleen's love of family included a fierce loyalty to her children, a lifelong dedication to her parents, and a true appreciation for her siblings and extended family. Countless memories were made over years worth of visits with her siblings and cousins for things like berry picking, taffy pulling, cards or games, seasonal cleanup, or just a weekend meal together. Kathleen was very well known for hosting holiday celebrations that included elaborate feasts followed by games of   "Penny Poker" or "Michigan Rummy" that lasted for hours. Kathleen's immediate family will forever be in admiration of her life and how it impacted everyone around her in a positive, motivating, inspirational and uplifting manner.

 

Kathleen's career as a high school English teacher resulted several lifelong friendships. Post-retirement, Kathleen traveled to Panama, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Western Europe, Asia, Russia, Poland, Alaska, the American Southwest, Florida and of course "Up North" with her friends over the course many years. She was also a die hard Packers Fan and made many trips to Lambeau Field to attend games with these same friends. Other occasions included a monthly "ladies lunch" which carried on for over a decade and weekly Wednesday night dinner and Friday Fish Fry gatherings for several years as well.

 

Kathleen loved all things nature; swimming, boating, hiking, picnicking, berry picking, bird watching, gardening, etc. Her favorite gift provided by Mother Nature was animals. Kathleen had horses, dogs and cats for many years, and they brought pure joy to her life. One of Kathleen's very special talents was to aptly naming her "fur people" - the cats in particular. Everyone remembers "Runt", "Skeezicks", "Itty Bit", and even "Dumb Dumb". 

 

Kathleen also very much loved God and Jesus and was faithful to them her entire life. She was appreciative of the life given to her by God and the sacrifice Jesus made for her sins. Kathleen was a "strong woman" before it was a trend, and she knew she had her faith to thank for her meaningful encounters, her health, and her cherished relationships. 

 

Kathleen is survived by two daughters, Dawn (Corey) Weinfurthner, Richmond, ILL, and Jamie (James Dewey) Martinson, Stevens Point; grandchildren, Owen and Erynn Weinfurthner; brothers, Paul Pehrke Jr, Mosinee, and Jim (Kay) Gehrke, Rhinelander; as well as a sister-in-law, Merceda Gehrke, Phillips.  Besides her parents she was preceded in death by a brother, Thomas Gehrke.

 

A prayer service for Kathleen will be held at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Kronenwetter, WI at 2:00 pm on Saturday, March 30, 2024, followed by a informal social gathering at Carmelo's in Rib Mountain at 4:00 pm. A Celebration of Life will be held at a future day/time -  Summer 2024; "picnic in a park" format, as Kathleen often liked to take a day trip for an adventure, which almost always included a picnic.  Beste Funeral Home, Mosinee, is assisting the family with arrangements.  Online condolences can be directed to the family at www.bestefh.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kathleen Mary Gehrke, please visit our flower store.

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