Cover photo for Lavern Wanke's Obituary
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1929 Lavern 2019

Lavern Wanke

April 24, 1929 — March 24, 2019

LaVern C. Wanke, of Watertown, age 89, passed away at Rainbow Hospice on Sunday, March 24, 2019, surrounded by his family. LaVern was born in Watertown on April 24, 1929, to John E. and Irene (Pitterle) Wanke. He grew up in the Town of Emmett Working on the family farm and attended St. Henry Grade School through eighth grade. He served in the Korean Ware as a Corporal where he received the Purple Heart. On May 14, 1955, he married Mary Oestreich at Saint Henrys Catholic Church, where he was a lifelong member. LaVern was an electrician and worked many years for Degner Electric. He also worked at Lindberg Hevi-Duty, and Water Metal Products where he retired in 1995. After retirement, he worked at Kraemer Dairy. LaVern is survived by his wife, Mary of 63 years, four children; John and Anne, both of Watertown, Dan (Jill) of Madison, and Teresa (Russ) Lehmann of Watertown, four grandchildren; James (Megan), Julia (Cody Zeimetz), Michael (Lauren Yaeger), Samantha (Johnny) Gast, great grandchildren; Cameron, and Jordan ( due in July), sister Lorraine Justmann of Markesan, sister-in-law Rose Haznaw, brothers-in-law Jim Kraemer, Dick (Jody River) Oestreich, Jim (Judith Frankfurt) Oestreich. He was preceded in death by his parents John and Irene, granddaughter Courtney Lehmann, brother and sister-in-law Harold and Gert Wanke, brothers-in-law Don Haznaw and Clark Justmann, and a sister-in-law Joanne Kraemer. LaVern also volunteered at Saint Vincent DePaul, Lions Club Eye Transporter, Saint Henry's Courtyard, Blood Bank, and also was a longtime blood donor. He belonged to the Holy Name Society, American Legion post 189, DAV Post #63 and was fortunate to go on the Honor Flight in 2014. He enjoyed traveling, woodworking, sheepshead, bowling, and gardening, and spending time with his grandchildren. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Henry's Catholic Church at 11:00 AM on Thursday, March 28, 2019, with Father Patrick Wendler, officiating. Friends may call at 9:00 AM. until the time of the service. Burial with Military Honor Guard will follow the service at St. Henry's Cemetery. Schmutzler-Vick Funeral Home & Cremation Service is serving the family. Memories and condolences may be sent on Memorials can be made to Saint Henry Catholic Church, Rainbow Hospice or Badger Honor Flight. The family would like to send a special thanks to Rainbow Hospice for the loving car they gave LaVern in his final days.


Thursday, March 28, 2019 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
St. Henry Catholic Church
412 N 4th St Watertown 53094, United States
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lavern Wanke, please visit our flower store.


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