Opal "Carlene” Gehrke, age 80, of Colby, passed away Sunday, December 1, 2013 at her home. A Memorial Service will be held 1:00 PM Friday, December 6, 2013 at the Maurina Schilling Funeral Home in Abbotsford. The Rev. Kenneth A. Dix will officiate. Family and friends are welcome on Thursday, December 5 from 3:00 until 7:00 PM with a VFW Auxiliary Sevice at 3:00 PM and from 11:30 AM Friday until the time of services at the funeral home in Abbotsford. Burial will follow the service at Riverside Cemetery, Withee.
Carlene was born December 28, 1932 the daughter of Carl and Lela Mae (Porter) Tuthill in Vergennes, IL. She was raised in Elkville, IL and later worked as a teletype operator for the government in North Chicago, IL. On June 28, 1951 in Kenosha, WI, Carlene was united in marriage to Julius "Bud" Gehrke. They resided in Kenosha and later farmed in Oregon, WI before moving to Dorchester in 1972 and Colby in 1976.
Carlene loved playing cards, crocheting, knitting, and embroidering. She was a member and past president of the VFW Auxiliary and volunteered with the SHARE program. She sold Avon for over 40 years and especially enjoyed visiting with her many friends. But most of all, Carlene was proud of her family and especially her grandchildren. She would boast about them to everyone she met.
Carlene is survived by her daughters: Julia Wright of Marshfield, Deborah Chandler of Madison, and Donna (Daniel) Wigstadt of Dorchester; her 11 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild. She is further survived by her brother, Paul (Wilma) Tuthill, IL; two brothers-in-law, Alfred Gehrke of Owen and Allen Gehrke of Fort Meyer, FL; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Carlene is preceded in death by her parents, her husband on May 3, 2013, her son, Russell Gehrke, her grandson, Matthew Wigstadt, her brother, Gary Tutill; her sister, Dorothy Gehrke and an infant sister, Alice.