Robert Earl Bahrke was born June 20, 1924, in Correctionville, the son of Albert and Lucille (Heckenlively) Bahrke. He graduated from Correctionville High School in 1943. In June 1943, Robert enlisted in the United States Navy and proudly served his country during World War II. He received his honorable discharge in March 1946.
On June 24, 1947, Robert and Donna Jean Frinkman were united in marriage at Yakima, Wash. The couple returned to the Correctionville area, and soon after Robert enrolled at Buena Vista College in Storm Lake. He finished his degree in education at Iowa State University in Ames. Robert's first teaching job was in Nemaha, Iowa. He taught industrial arts and coached several sports.
In 1955 the family moved to Pierson where Robert secured a teaching job. He would later take a position at Moville where he began counseling as well as teaching industrial arts and coaching. Robert also taught at Sibley, Riverside and Winnebago before retiring from Woodrow Wilson in Sioux City in 1989.
Robert was a member of the Christian Church in Pierson. He was also a member of the Iowa State Teacher's Association. He enjoyed fishing, golfing and playing cards. During the summers he worked as a carpenter and mason. He was an avid follower of his children and grandchildren during their school and sporting activities. Robert was always ready to lend a helping hand and volunteered often for Pierson projects.
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife Donna of Pierson; six children Marsha Ray and her husband Tom of Kingsley, Ken Bahrke and his wife Joyce of Sioux Center, Pat Paulette and her husband James of Angleton, Texas, Karl Bahrke and his wife Julie of Kingsley, Barb Hansen and her husband Donovan of Smithland, Bev Christiansen and her husband Clyde of Storm Lake; grandchildren and their children Mike (Devi) Ray, Colby Nepper and Landon Ray, Matt (Becky) Ray, Allyson, Anna, Adria, and Amelia Ray, Mindy (Cory) Dunne, Camryn, Hayden and Liam Dunne, Kari (Alex) Ranniger, Kelly (Drew) Zuehlke, Jana (Karlton) Hector, Chad (Amy) Timmins, Claire and Abby Timmins, Garth (Cyndi) Timmins, Lanie and Joe Gigliotti and Jason Timmins, Scott (Lyndsay) Bahrke, Payge Bahrke, Renae Bahrke, Kyle Bahrke, Laura Bahrke, Jeremy Hansen, Heath Hansen, Missy Christiansen and Dan Christiansen; a brother Chet Bahrke of Correctionville; and a step-sister Hazel Moore and her husband George of Cherokee.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister Clara Bahrke; and brothers Bill and Leo Bahrke.
Funeral services will take place at 11 a.m. Friday at the Pierson Christian Church. Burial will follow at 3 p.m. at the Komstad Cemetery, rural Beresford, S.D. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. today (Thursday) at the Rohde - Earnest Funeral Home in Kingsley. The family will be present to greet friends from 5 to 7 p.m. There will also be one hour of visitation at the church prior to the service on Friday.