Wayne N. Hanke, age 78, of Marathon, died on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital, after a short battle with Lewy Bodies Dementia.
Wayne was born on July 17, 1942, in Wausau, to the late Norman and Valieta (Hitzke) Hanke. He married LuAnn Gaeu on June 13, 1964. Together they celebrated 56 wonderful years of marriage.
Wayne was a hard-working dairy farmer, whose work ethic has been passed down through the generations. He, along with LuAnn, owned and operated Way-No Dairy from 1976 until his retirement in 1995, after which he was employed at ABS and then Custom Meats of Marathon. Wayne served as president of the Marathon County Holstein Breeders Association and was an active member of the Wisconsin and National Holstein Associations, served on the DHIA Board and Marathon County Calf Project. When he wasn’t working hard on the farm, Wayne enjoyed playing sheepshead and 31 with his family and friends. He was an avid bowler for 47 years, bowling two 300 games and one 299 game. He was a Packer, Brewer and Badger fan, but loved attending sporting events for his grandchildren even more. He also enjoyed bullhead fishing with his grandchildren and fishing in Canada. Wayne was known for his immaculate yard, flowers and garden. He will be remembered for teasing his friends and family, his dry sense of humor and his big smile.
He is survived by his wife, LuAnn; children: Jodi (Lon) Wilkosz, Wendy (Kent) Reinhardt, and Jayme (Michael) Buttke; daughter-in-law, Kelly Nelson; grandchildren: Andrea (Rocky Bentz) Sebold, Alyssa (Jeff) Rhoades, Kelsey (Ben) LaVaque, Kyle (Geralyn) Wilkosz, Matthew (Ava) Reinhardt, Marcus (fiancé Elizabeth Weix) Reinhardt, Mason (Andrea) Reinhardt, Henry Buttke and Grace Buttke; great-grandchildren: Rielyn Rhoades, Arya LaVaque, Roman Bentz, Selah Reinhardt, Knox Rhoades and Abram Wilkosz; siblings: Keith Hanke and Sharleen (Walter) Tetzlaff; brother-in-law, Daniel (Sally) Gaeu; sister-in-law, Doreen Gaeu (Darwin Berndt); foreign exchange daughters: Caterina Engedal and Clare Glaze; and many nieces and nephews.
Wayne was preceded in death by his son, Timothy Hanke; parents, Norman and Valieta Hanke; father and mother-in-law, Edwin and Ella Gaeu; brotherin- law, James Gaeu, and sister-in-law, Sandy Hanke.
A funeral service was held at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7, at Trinity Lutheran Church – Stettin, 232220 N. 120th Ave., Wausau. The Rev. Tryphine Olson Schruba presided. Please be advised that masks and social distancing were observed. The service was live streamed at www.helke.com for those who were unable to attend in person. Visitation was held from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce Street, Wausau, and again from 11 a.m. until the time of the service at the church on Saturday. He was laid to rest at the Stettin Christian Cemetery.
Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family. Online condolences may be given at www.helke.com.
Paid obituary 97059