December 6, 1954 - January 14, 2017
Rick Gerke, 62, passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 14, 2017 of an asymptomatic heart problem. The son of the late Robert (Bob) Gerke and Carol (Verhagen) Gerke was born on December 6, 1954. Rick grew up in a wonderful neighborhood with his brother and two sisters near Dickinson School in East De Pere. Rick was a 1973 graduate of De Pere High School. Rick attended UWGB for Fine Arts to cultivate his artistic skills. He worked as a Commercial Artist and Production Manager throughout his career at Pranges, Shopko corporate, the Green Bay Press Gazette, the De Pere Journal, and finally the Ashwaubenon/Howard Suamico Press. He had excelled in both the old newspaper production methods and the new digital method, with one foot in both worlds of commercial art. Rick was known for his offbeat humor, and his stability and resourcefulness under pressure. He rarely missed work. He finally met the right girl when he was 32 years old. He said that his heart leapt when 23 year old Jeanette Holschuh called him from college and said she wanted to come home and build a life together. His life goal was to be a good father. Rick and Jeanette married on July 9, 1988 in Green Bay, Wisc. They moved into their home in Ledgeview where they have lived happily for nearly 29 years. The couple has two sons, Jonathan Richard and Timothy Sheldon. His family was his highest priority. In 1993, Rick accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. His life philosophy was based on Matt. 22: 36-40, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind; and to love your neighbor as yourself. He tenderly loved people from all walks of life, encouraging them and making them smile. His goal in life was to make at least one person laugh per day. Rick was loved by his family and will be deeply missed. He loved working in his yard where he called himself Tree Feller and Jeanette was Garden Hoe. With his quick wit and charm, Rick won every argument with Jeanette because he could always make her laugh no matter how mad she was. He is survived by his beloved wife, Jeanette (Holschuh) Gerke; sons: Jonathan (Hannah) and their new daughter Shannon Marie; and Timothy (special friend Marissa). His siblings, Sally (Steve) Kuss; Thomas Gerke (Mike Cross); Gloria (Mark) Watzka; Rick is also survived by Jeanette’s siblings, Jim Jr. (Lisa) Holschuh, Margaret Lee (fiance Keith Deprey), Peter Holschuh, and Michelle (Robert) Simmons. He is further survived by nieces and nephews whom he loved to play with, his aunts Nancy Gerke, Lila Verhagen, Virginia Verhagen; uncle Kenneth (Sandy) Verhagen. He was preceded in death by mother and father-in-law, RoseMary and James Holschuh Sr. and aunts and uncles. Jeanette often said she raised three boys, and only two grew up. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be donated to Operation Cold Snap www.hooahinc.org/coldsnap in care of Jason Braun or William Kocken at [email protected]; or St. Jude Children’s Hospital in care of Jason Braun at (920) 494-8800 The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at Aurora Hospital for their exceptional care. Rick almost beat the odds. Gathering of family and friends will be held from 3:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. on Friday, January 20, 2017 at Spring Lake Church, 2240 Klondike Rd., Green Bay. There will be an open sharing of “Rick Stories” at 6:00 P.M. to close the visitation. If you are not comfortable reading it aloud, Jeanette’s sister will. Visitation will continue at 9:00 A.M. until 10:45 A.M. on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at the church. A Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 A.M. with Pastor Graham Hunt Officiating. Online condolences may be expressed at www.HansenFuneralService.com. Hansen Family Funeral and Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements.
Rick Gerke, 62, passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 14, 2017 of an asymptomatic heart problem. The son of the late Robert (Bob) Gerke and Carol (Verhagen) Gerke was born on December 6, 1954. Rick grew up in a wonderful neighborhood... View Obituary & Service Information
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