Fred L. Ehrke of Deerfield passed away unexpectedly on September 17, 2016, at the VA hospital in Madison.
Fred was born on August 26, 1922, in Oakland Township, Jefferson County, Wisconsin. He was the son of Fred W. and Devina Olson Ehrke.
Fred married Juanita Rose Robbins on November 2, 1946.
He is survived by his wife, Juanita; daughters Patricia Cook (Terry) of Cambridge, WI; Christine Snouffer (Mike) of Long Grove, IL and Tracy (Dan) Hines of Madison, WI; daughter-in-law Janet Ehrke of San Jose, CA; grandchildren Amanda, Austin, Katrina, Karen, Matthew, Karissa, Kirsten and Aurora; great-grandchildren Kate and Owen; brothers Bill (Jean) Ehrke, Jerome (Carol) Ehrke, Carroll (Bonnie) Ehrke and sisters Irene Schuett and Jean (Richard) Kerr. Fred was preceded in death by his son, Alan; brother Gorden Ehrke and sisters Lucile Stokke, Elaine Gruennert and Doreen Van Schoyck.
Fred worked as a machinist, an accountant and in real estate. He was a real estate appraiser for the State of Wisconsin. He served as a school district clerk, a township and county supervisor, a director of the local co-operative, a Boy Scout leader and a Little League coach.
Fred graduated from Fort Atkinson High School in 1940 and later attended Madison Technical College where he studied Accounting, Real Estate and Business Law.
During WWII, he served in the Pacific Theater from Guadalcanal to Okinawa as an Intelligence Observer and Sniper with the First Marine Infantry Division. Before going overseas, he completed a 6-week course at the Scout-Sniper Intelligence School in California. He was wounded on May 10, 1945, shortly before the war ended and was hospitalized in Guam; Pearl Harbor, HI; Oakland, CA; San Diego, CA; Bethesda, MD and Great Lakes, IL. He was awarded the Purple Heart and was a life member of the Disabled American Veterans, Chapter #2, Madison, WI. In the spring of 1946, while a patient in the naval hospital in San Diego, CA, he was honored by a visit from Helen Keller. He also shook hands with President Harry Truman while hospitalized.
A highlight of his life was taking a cruise on a nuclear submarine with his son, Alan, who was serving as an engineer at the time. Fred was given the opportunity to pilot the sub while in the Pacific Ocean. Fred was deeply grateful for the care provided by his caregivers. Fred valued family and he and Juanita took many trips to visit their children. Fred and Juanita would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on November 2nd.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, October 1, 2016, at Deerfield Lutheran Church, 206 S. Main St., Deerfield, at 2 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Disabled American Veterans, Chapter #2, Madison, the Sierra Club - John Muir Chapter or Deerfield Lutheran Church.