Clarence H. Kratzke, age 95, life-long Vergas, MN, area resident passed away Wednesday, July 1, 2015, at Perham Health.
Funeral services will be held 2 p.m., Friday July 3, 2015, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church - Loon Lake, Vergas. Visitation will begin at 12 p.m. on Friday at the church. Interment will be made at St. Paul's Lutheran Church - Loon Lake Cemetery.
Clarence was born December 3, 1919 at home in Dora Township, the 5th of 11 children born to Otto and Juliana (Potz) Kratzke. He grew up in Dora Township where he attended country school. He continued farming until he was drafted to the United States Army in 1942, where he served in the armored tank division during WWII. His service brought him to France, Germany and even Czechoslovakia. During his service, he was united in marriage to Verna Lachowitzer. The couple married September 4, 1943 at the military base in Leesville, Louisiana. Following his honorable discharge, the couple bought a small dairy farm in Hobart Township near Rose Lake. They had two sons: Gerald and David.
In 1953, Clarence began working for the Otter Tail County Highway Department in Vergas. In 1954, he continued with Otter Tail County Highway Department in Pelican Rapids. The family made their home in Pelican Rapids from 1954 until 1966. The couple then purchased Verna's family farm where the couple has continued to reside. Clarence retired from the Otter Tail County Highway Department in 1984.
Clarence loved to fish and hunt. Many fond memories were made fishing with Clarence. The family enjoyed fishing the area lakes both summer and winter. Duck hunting was also a family affair; even Verna participated in the sport. Clarence also was an avid wood cutter. No matter the time of year, he always had a substantial supply of split wood on hand.
Clarence was a life-time member of the St. Paul's Lutheran Church - Loon Lake, being baptized and confirmed there. He was a kind and caring man who will be dearly missed by his family and friends.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 72 years: Verna Kratzke; 2 sons: Jerry (Nellie) and Dave (Robin) all of Vergas; 4 grandchildren: Cully of Shakopee, MN, Trevor of St. Cloud, MN, Shana of St. Paul, MN and Barry (Connie) of Silver Lake, MN; 2 great grandchildren: Katrina and Dinetta of Felton, MN; 4 siblings: Anna Mielke of New York Mills, MN, Fred Kratzke of Detroit Lakes, MN, Raymond (Lillian) Kratzke of Pelican Rapids, MN, and Raynold Kratzke of Vergas; sister-in-law, Marvel Beaman of Vergas; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding Clarence in death were his parents; 6 siblings: Bernard, William (Luella), Rudolph (Geline), Olga (Ernest) Schultz, Emma (Carl) Pitzel, and Adeline (Dale) Urbach; sister-in-law, Elsie Kratkze; along with several nieces and nephews.