Alfred H. Gehrke
Jun 2, 1918 – Mar 2, 2016
Alfred H. Gehrke
Alfred H. Gehrke, of Kent, WA, passed away on March 2, 2016. Alfred was born June 2, 1918, in Genesee, Idaho to Hugo and Barbara Gehrke. He grew up on a farm where he got in shape for his high school football team by hefting 50 pound bales of hay. On March 6, 1941, he enlisted in the Army Air Force. During World War II he was stationed in French North Africa. He had obtained the rank of Staff Sargent when he was honorably discharged from the military on June 9, 1945. He married the love of his life, Ida Graf, of Baltimore, MD on June 16, 1946. Al and Ida met through the Luther League Pen Pal Club. They were married at Faith Lutheran Church in Baltimore and their honeymoon was the road trip west to their farm in Idaho. Al and Ida moved to Kent, WA with their 4 children in 1955. Al worked as a machinist for a company doing sub-contracting work for Boeing Aerospace Company. Al and Ida had two more children after moving to Kent and they lived in the West Hill neighborhood of Kent for thirty years.
He was an active member of Grace Lutheran Church in Des Moines. Most Sundays found him welcoming attendees with his great smile and friendly greeting in addition to ushering. He always enjoyed helping out in the nursery.
Al coached girls’ softball teams for many years. He made it a point to see that all the girls on the team got to play. Teamwork and having fun was more important than winning every game.
Al was a supportive father, attending every extra-curricular or sporting event that he could which involved his children.
Al was proud of his many bowling trophies and loved watching football in any form. He played senior slow pitch softball when many his age were using walkers. He took delight in working on his lawn and in his garden when he got home from work. But more delightful was watching his children and neighbor kids playing touch football, volleyball, lawn darts and croquet on the lawn.
Alfred Gehrke was looked to for a source of love, strength an humor. He was always surrounded by love, because he would bring it to you if there wasn’t enough in your life.
Alfred was pre-deceased by his parents, wife Ida, and sister Gladys Rieke. He is survived by his six children: Grace David, David Gehrke, Joyce Mandau, JoAnne Gehrke, Darlene Gehrke and Carol McNeley and 5 grand-children: Julie McCoy, Jaime Peniche, Matthew Gehrke, Joshua Gehrke and Kristin McNeley. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 10:30 AM, at Grace Lutheran Church, Des Moines, Washington. Donations may be made to Grace Children’s Center at Grace Lutheran Church.
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