Charles E. "Charlie" Gaerke, age 92, of Fort Recovery, Ohio, passed away on February 18, 2019 at Briarwood Village, Coldwater, Ohio.
He was born July 6, 1926, in Fort Recovery, to the late Henry and Anna (Fullenkamp) Gaerke. On May 14, 1949 he married Wilma (Uhlenhake) Gaerke, who died March 13, 1968. On July 31, 1970, he married Betty (Wuebker) Schwartz Gaerke, who died April 3, 2017.
Surviving are his children, Bill Gaerke of Fort Recovery, Jack (Judy) Gaerke of Fort Recovery, Dale (Carolyn) Gaerke of Perrysburg, OH, Randy (Barb) Gaerke of Coldwater, Donna (Mark) Grube of St. Marys, Theresa (Bill) Delzeith of St. Henry, Diane (Tim) Homan of Coldwater, Rob (Alice) Gaerke of Fort Recovery, Marie (Dave) Link of Fort Recovery, Jennifer (Brian) Ballard of Springboro, OH, and Tim (Julie) Gaerke of Fort Recovery; 36 grandchildren; 65 great grandchildren; his sisters, Virginia Tangeman of Maria Stein and Marcie (Richard) Topp of Kettering, OH; sisters-in-law, Dorothy Gaerke of Fort Recovery, Lillian Homan of Coldwater and Janet Gaerke of Fort Recovery; and in-laws, Marilyn Uhlenhake of Coldwater and Harold Wuebker, Sault Sainte Marie, MI.
Preceding him in death are a son, James Schwartz; a daughter-in-law, Mary Gaerke; grandsons, Michael Homan and Steven Gaerke; sisters, Lorine Forthofer, Luella Franck and Mary Ann Homan; brothers, Jerome, Herbert, Leonard, Harold, Bernard, Virgil and Henry Gaerke; in-laws, Dorothy Kerber, Wilfred Wuebker, Margie Hausfeld, Joan Fisher, Janice Wuebker, Tom Uhlenhake, Rita Klosterman, Ernest Uhlenhake and Mary Lou Unrast.
He was a 1944 graduate of Fort Recovery High School, served in the US Navy during WWII as an underwater diver in the Pacific and spent his life farming until retirement.
Charlie was a member of the American Legion Post 345, a member and past Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6515, and the Knights of Columbus Council 3324, all of Fort Recovery. He was also a lifelong member of St. Peter Catholic Church, St. Peter, OH, the church's Holy Name Society and the Catholic Financial Life, Chapter 1118, St. Joe, OH. He was active in the Ambassador Club, Fort Recovery and served as its president, and also served on the Fort Recovery School Board. He enjoyed bowling, horse shoes, playing cards, fishing and traveling. Charlie instilled his love of God, country and family in the way he lived and the examples he set.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 am Friday, February 22, 2019 at St. Peter Catholic Church, with Fr. Matthew Feist as celebrant. Burial will follow at the church cemetery.
Calling is 2:00 pm-8:00 pm Thursday and 9:00 am-9:45 am Friday at Brockman - Boeckman Funeral Home, Fort Recovery. An American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars prayer service will be held 7:30 pm Thursday at the funeral home, followed by a Knights of Columbus prayer service. Military graveside honors will be conducted by the American Legion.
In lieu of flowers and gifts memorials may be directed to State of the Heart Care, Alzheimer’s Association or the Mercer County Cancer Association.