The moral ashes of Jerry Charles Litschke of Albuquerque, NM, were deposited at the Lutheran cemetery southwest of Lester Prairie in the family plot beside his late wife, Henrietta, where they will sleep out eternity together.
It was the departed's desire that there be no formal funeral and that only closest family members and requested relatives and friends be in attendance at the graveside.
Committal services were conducted locally by the Rev. Tom Evans of St. John's Lutheran Church in Plato and military services were conducted by the chaplain of the Glencoe Chapter of the Veterans' of Foreign Wars. Litschke was a disabled combat veteran of World War II having served overseas in the Pacific Theatre with the 20th Air Force, mainly on Iwo Jima.
Litschke was born Feb. 23, 1919 in Lester Prairie and was the only child of the late Charles and Emilie Litschke, nee Schmalz. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul's Lutheran Church and attended the local public schools, graduating with the class of 1936.
He spent several years in study at the University of Minnesota where he took all available drafting and illustrating courses as well as majoring a short time in pharmacy.
In his boyhood Litschke worked for his father in the local store and later utilized this mercantile experience by owning and managing a successful Federated Store in Cornell, Wisc.
He also operated a regional soft ice cream franchise in New Mexico and West Texas for a short time. He pursued a lifetime interest in writing by early employment with E.C. Ernst in the Lester Prairie News office.
Most of his productive life, however, was spent in the art field, as draftsman and illustrator with the Veterans Administration at Fort Snelling, with the City Planning Commission in Minneapolis and the Department of Public Works in Albuquerque, NM. For many years after 1954, he was employed as a civilian technical illustrator in various graphics departments with the U.S. Air Force at Kirkland, AFB near Albuquerque from which he retired on March 17, 1979.
Jerry Litschke married Henrietta Hardel of Brownton on June 25, 1939. She preceded him in death from leukemia in 1967. They had two children: Susan Sullivan, whose husband Don retired from the Air Force in 1984 and now live in Albuquerque and Jack, married to Jeanne Ann Hogsett and living in Carlsbad, NM.
Susan is following in her father's footsteps as a civil service employee with the Veterans Administration. Jack is an elementary principal and his wife is a kindergarten teacher, both with Carlsbad Schools.
Other survivors include three grandsons, Andrew Carver of Albuquerque, Brandon Litschke of Las Cruces. NM and Jerry Sullivan of Cottondale. Fla.; five granddaughters, Annie, Susie and Betsy Litschke of Carlsbad, Donna Mulloy of Albuquerque and Dena Sullivan of Putnam, CT; ten great grandchildren and a number of cousins; a sister-in-law, Ethel Hardel of Brownton; two nieces: Carol Dammann and Bonnie Grenke and nephew Dr. Tom Hardel.
Litschke was a member of American Association of Retired Persons, national Association of Retired Federal Employees; and MENSA, an international intellectual society, as well as of POLKofA, the Polka Lovers Club of America.
He had many interests, a life-long stamp collection, railroading, color photography, music, Minnesota history, reading World War II history, sports events and travelling. He was a sportsman and conservationist and loved nature and animals.