Donald “Don” Jahnke succumbed to acute myeloblastic leukemia on Friday March 9, 2018. This diagnosis was given to him just ten days earlier. He passed peacefully, just as he wished, surrounded by his loving wife and children in his home. Don’s loving and caring soul will be greatly missed by all.
Don was born September 17, 1936 a son of the late, Ernest A. and Elsie (Hartman) Jahnke in the town of Price in Bryant, Wisconsin. He was the youngest of five children. After his mother’s death, Don lived with his Aunt Anna Hartman, Aunt Clara Parsons and Uncle Robert Parsons. The time spent on the farm with his Aunts and Uncle helped develop Don’s strong family values.
He was united in marriage with the love of his life, Judith Ann Kryka, on October 6, 1956, enjoying 61 wedding anniversaries. This contemporary love story was admired by many. They raised five children together and were blessed with four grandchildren who meant the world to Don.
Don worked for Hyland Lakes Dairy (Antigo Milk Products Cooperative), Red Owl, Fittante’s County Market and Gallenberg Equipment. He also served on the Antigo City Council as Fifth Ward Alderman.
After retirement in 1998, Don spent his time developing beautiful flower and vegetable gardens, cutting fire wood and driving his Farm-All C tractor. His favorite crops included raspberries, potatoes, sunflowers, and pumpkins for the grandkids. He enjoyed tinkering around the house, the garage, and in the yard. Many family memories were built along with houses, decks and garages. His most treasured activity was spending time with his grandchildren. Whatever they wanted to do, he happily played along. Don enjoyed playing cards, hunting, fishing and gardening. He loved all animals, especially dogs.
Always a volunteer, Don spent several years coaching Little League and Senior League. He served as a Eucharist Minister at St. Wencel’s Church and volunteered for countless church activities. The Knights of Columbus became his passion. Council #1002 provided many new friends. He served as the Grand Knight and most recently served as the Financial Secretary for the Council Assembly. He was a Fourth Degree Knight of Council #1214. He enjoyed calling Bingo numbers, working at Pancake Breakfast and Friday Night Fish Fry.
Don is survived by his loving wife, Judy; a son, Thomas (Linda) Jahnke; daughters, Liane (Christopher) Blahnik, Linda Bleyl, Patricia Jahnke (Robert Slamka) and Laura (Scott) Doucette; grandchildren, Amy Jahnke (Ryan Drengler), Sarah Jahnke (Jeffrey Kuang), Brenna Doucette, and Harrison Doucette; a sister, Elvera Zeamer; a brother, Ernest Jahnke; sisters-in-law, Janice Gehr and Diane (Benjamin) Baker; and a brother-in-law, Duane (Diane) Kryka; special cousins, Carol (Joe) Schroeder and Marcella (Ivan) Schmidt.
In addition to his parents Don was preceded in death by infant daughter, Mary; a sister, Clara (Willard) Nohr; a brother, Norman (Dolores) Jahnke; a sister-in-law, Delores Jahnke; brothers-in-law, Vernon Zeamer, Gerald (Doris) Kryka and Michael Gehr.
The family would like to thank Father Zachary Weber, the Hospice Chaplain, the Hospice Nurses, and Aspirus VNA.
A funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, March 17 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Wencel Catholic Church, Neva with Rev. David Schmidt officiating. Burial will take place at St. Wencel Catholic Cemetery.
Visitation will be Friday, March 16; from 4 to 8 p.m. at Bradley Funeral Home with a Knights of Columbus Rosary at 6:30 p.m. and a parish wake service at 7:30 p.m. Visitation will be held Saturday, March 17 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home.