Feb. 3, 2019 – Howard S. Wilke, 89, passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday February 2, 2019 with his family surrounding him. He was born on May 14, 1929 in Fredonia to Emil and Louise (nee Bublitz) Wilke. On June 4, 1949, Howard married LaVerne Gruenewald at Evangelical United Brethren Church in Batavia.
Howard was a lifetime farmer, operating a dairy farm with his wife. In the early years, they worked together on fieldwork and cropping with LaVerne’s parents and later worked with his daughter and son-in-law. In later years, Howard worked as a janitor at the Random Lake School District and he also worked for Robert and Dawn on their farm. Howard was a 4-H Leader for 42 years. He and LaVerne maintained the lawn at Camp Riverside for 16 years. He was well known as the leathercraft leader for the Sherman Worker’s 4-H Club, and enjoyed stamp collecting, wood carving, building bird houses, bird watching, and planting trees and shrubs for the wildlife. He also enjoyed working with draft horses and participating in local parades. Howard had a great sense of humor.
Howard is survived by his daughters, Darla Jean Kraus of Random Lake and Dawn (Robert) Boehlke of Random Lake, his grandchildren Darci (fiancé Michael Trapp) Kraus of Random Lake, Dustin Boehlke of Oshkosh and Chelsea (Anthony Yeary) Boehlke of Milwaukee, his sister-in-law Idaleen Hildebrand. He was preceded in death by LaVerne, his wife of 66 years.
A Celebration of Howard’s Life will be held on Friday, February 8 at the Silver Creek Fire Hall (W6566 Hwy 144). Friends and family may come between 4:00 pm –8:00 pm with a tribute to Howard starting at 6:00 pm with sharing of memories and stories.
Howard’s family wishes to extend special thanks to Dr. Mary Arenberg of Plymouth Family Physicians and to the Sharon Richardson Community Hospice for their wonderful compassionate care.
In lieu of flowers, a Memorial Fund will be set up in Howard’s name for 4-H Camp Riverside and the Random Lake Historical Society.