Obit: Gorke, Adolph J. #2 (1925 - 2008)

Contact: R. Lipprandt
Email: bob@wiclarkcountyhistory.org

Surnames: Brecht, Brickheimer, Franklin, Gorke, Huebner, Munnik, Rusted, Snyder, Steinmetz

----Source: The Tribune - Phonograph (Abbotsford, Clark Co., WI), Wednesday, December 3, 2008, Online Edition

Gorke, Adolph J. (December 26, 1925 - December 14, 2008)

Adolph J. Gorke, age 82, passed away on Sunday, December 14, 2008 at the Palliative Care Unit of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield.

Adolph was born December 26, 1925, the son of Edgar and Cornelia (Munnik) Gorke. He was born at home on his grandfather’s farm in Rangeline. He received his elementary education in Fifield and his high school education in Marshfield at Purdy and Marshfield Senior High.

Adolph joined the Army in April 1944. He had basic training at Fort Maxie, Texas and then was sent to Lawson General Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia for medical training. After graduation, Sergeant Gorke was sent to Germany where he served the duration of his enlistment as a Medical Technician in the 120th Evacuation Hospital. He received an honorable discharge in June 1946. He returned to Marshfield where he joined the National Guard and went to work at the Louis Trossen Auto Dealership.

Adolph Gorke and Margaret Brecht were united in marriage on June 25, 1949, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Marshfield. They lived in Marshfield until 1958 when Adolph accepted a partnership in the Chevrolet dealership in Dorchester, Wis. In 1970, Adolph purchased school buses for the Dorchester area and started Gorke Bus Service, and also Gorke Sales and Service. Adolph acquired the Athens Bus Co. in 1981. In 1986, Adolph retired, leaving the management of his businesses to his son, Greg Gorke, and his son-in-law, Brian Steinmetz.

Adolph was an active member of his community. He was a volunteer fireman in his early years, a trustee to the Village Board, and a member of the Dorchester Park Board. He was one of the original organizers of the Wisconsin State Tractor Pull in 1958 and served on the Tractor Pull Committee for many years. He was a member of St. Louis Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, the VFW, American Legion and the Wisconsin Campers. He had been an active member of the Dorchester Lions Club for over 50 years.

He served as Governor of District 27-C1 from 1978-1979. For many years Adolph was a co-coordinator for the Lions Mission to Mexico eye glass program and made many trips to Mexico. Adolph served as a Director of the Wisconsin Lions Camp for seven years, five of those as Camp Committee Chairman. Adolph received many awards for his contribution to the Lions programs including the Melvin Jones Fellowship and the Birch-Strum awards. Adolph was an avid traveler. He and Marge traveled to almost all the states including Hawaii. His travels also took him to Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, France, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica and Guatemala. After his retirement he and Marge spent winters in McAllen,Texas until 2003. He enjoyed fishing in Canada, hunting in Wisconsin and Wyoming, trading Lions friendship pins, playing cards, spending time with his family and friends at his cottage at Rock Dam, and camping. He was a faithful Packer fan, attending many games including the "Ice Bowl". When not at the games he never missed watching them on television. He also became a Brewers fan.

Adolph touched the lives of many people. He will be remembered as a kind and loving husband, father and grandfather. He will be sadly missed by his family and friends. Adolph is survived by his wife of 59 years, Margaret, Dorchester, as well as his children Greg Gorke, Abbotsford, Sheila (Brian) Steinmetz, Dorchester, and Mark (Melanie) Gorke, Abbotsford, Wis. He is further survived by his grandchildren, Chad Steinmetz, Sara Steinmetz, David Gorke, Barbara (Carl) Snyder, and Suzie Gorke. Other survivors include his sisters, Angeline (Elroy) Huebner, Iris (Kenneth) Brickheimer, and Evelyn (Guy) Rusted; also sisters-in-law Evelyn Gorke and Patricia Gorke; and his dog "Duke".

He is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Alfred Gorke and Elvin Gorke. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 19, 2008 at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Abbotsford followed by full military honors. The Rev. Benjamin Franklin will preside.

Friends may call from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 18, 2008 at the Maurina-Schilling Funeral Home in Abbotsford and on Friday at the church in Abbotsford from 10:00 a.m. until time of service. A parish prayer service will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday at the funeral home in Abbotsford, Wis.

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