Donald P. Harke, age 77 of the Township of Belle Plaine, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center, Appleton.
Donald Paul Harke was born March 21, 1945 in Clintonville, son to the late Erich & Hazel (Koeller) Harke. He married the love of his life, Joan M. Drath on March 15, 1985 at St. Martin Lutheran Church, Clintonville. Don did not let his physical disability get in his way, becoming a welder at Nordberg and finishing his career there in the shipping department. Don loved his job, asking all the truck drivers for hats which he added to his massive hat collection. Don enjoyed fishing, hunting, and camping although most of all, he enjoyed talking and joking with everyone. Don always had a joke for everyone. Don gained two stepchildren at that time and was always there to help when needed. Don and Joan camped all over the state, spending time with family as often as they could.
Don is survived by:
Son: Ron (Kris) Drath, New London;
Grandchildren: Tara (Mark) Hildebrand, De Pere; Patrick Gorman Jr., Oshkosh; Danielle Drath, Shawano.
Great grandchildren: Jacob and Bradley Hildebrand and Patrick Gorman III.
Sisters-in-law: Sue (Lalo) Duenes, Seymour; Carol Harke, Clintonville; and Louise Gruentzel Milwaukee.
Brother-in-law: Steve (Jodi) Gruentzel, New London
Son-in-law: Dean Arndt
As well as many nieces and nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; the love of his life, Joan M. Harke; brothers James, Richard and Thomas Harke; a step-daughter Kay Arndt; and a brother-in-law Robert Gruentzel and his parents-in-law.
Visitation and funeral services will be held at the First Congregational UCC church in New London, WI on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023, with Joe Gruentzel and Rev. Steve Savides. Visitation begins at 9 AM, until the funeral at 11 AM. Interment will take place privately at Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Town of Belle Plaine.
The Eberhardt-Stevenson Funeral Home & Crematory, Clintonville is assisting the Harke family with arrangements.
The family would like to thank the staff at ThedaCare Medical Center in Shawano and ThedaCare Regional Medical Center, Appleton.
An online guestbook is available at eberhardtstevenson.com.