Roger Emil Gehrke, 72, Beaver Creek, died Friday, April 8, 2016, at Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
A funeral service was Monday, April 11, at the First Presbyterian Church in Beaver Creek. Burial followed at Beaver Creek Cemetery.
Roger Gehrke was born Feb. 26, 1944, to Edward and Anna (Christiansen) Gehrke in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was raised on the family farm northwest of Beaver Creek. Roger was baptized and confirmed at St. John Lutheran Church in Luverne. He attended Beaver Creek High School through the eleventh grade and then went to work full time in the family farming operation. Roger served his country in the United States National Guard.
On Aug. 18, 1979, Roger married Debra Ossenfort at St. John Lutheran Church in Luverne. The couple first made their home on an acreage northwest of Beaver Creek. In 1982 Roger left farming, and the family moved into town. He first worked for Cenex Harvest States, serving the Sioux Falls and Luverne territories. He later drove truck at Skelgas. Roger then worked for a short time as a meat inspector at MidPack before taking a job at Gold-n-Plump as a process worker. He retired from full-time work in 2006 and began working part time at the Adrian rest area, westbound side, on I-90 until his health would no longer allow him to do so.
Roger was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Beaver Creek. In his younger years he enjoyed deer hunting with his family and friends. He also enjoyed camping, fishing, and playing pinochle and Smear. He could often be found tinkering in his garage. Roger loved vegetable gardening and was well-known for the tomatoes and onions that he grew. Most of all, Roger loved spending time with his two grandsons.
Roger is survived by his wife, Deb; a son, Chris (Elaine) Gehrke, Sioux Falls; two grandsons, Devin and Cameron; two brothers, Eddie (Carol) Gehrke, Hills, and Carl (Teresa) Gehrke, Beaver Creek; and other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Warren and Stanley Gehrke.
Arrangements were by Hartquist Funeral Home of Luverne, www.hartquistfuneral.com.