A visitation for Gordon Kanke, 81, of Jefferson will be held from 1:00 to 2:00 PM Saturday at the Brown Funeral Home in Jefferson with an Elks Memorial Service at 1:45 followed by military honors.
Survivors include his son, Bill Kanke of St. Joseph, MO. and daughter, Brenda Poole of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
Memorials are suggested to be given in Gordon’s name to the Elks National Foundation and send to the Jefferson Elks Lodge #2306 in Jefferson or left at the funeral home.
Gordon Kanke, the son of Glenn and Irene (Vogler) Kanke, was born January 30, 1938 at Vinton, Iowa and passed from this life March 7, 2020 at his home in Jefferson, Iowa. He lived his life to the age of 81 years, 1 month and 7 days.
Gordy graduated from high school in 1956 and joined the United States Air Force where he served for two years. After his discharge, Gordy moved to California where he lived for three years and drove cars in stockcar races. He was married to Linda Lockwood and they had a daughter, Sherry. They were later divorced. Gordy moved back to Iowa and lived in the Cedar Rapids area where he worked for the Wilbert Burial Vault Company for 20 years. In 1964, Gordy was married to Kathleen Gooden and they raised three children; Kevin, Bill and Brenda. Kathleen and Gordy were later divorced. Gordy than worked for Williams Gas Co. as a pipeline supervisor and lived in Hartley, Iowa. In 1979, Gordy was married to Bernice Hervey and she later died of cancer. Gordy retired in 1994 and worked part time for farmers in the Hartley area. While working in Boone, Iowa, Gordy met Karen Schwarz and they struck up a relationship. Karen and Gordy later moved to Hartley where they made their home together until 2015 when the moved to Jefferson. Karen passed away in October of 2019.
During his life, Gordy enjoyed fishing, playing golf and pool, bowling and camping. While with Karen, they enjoyed traveling throughout the continental U.S.A. and took a cruise to Alaska. He enjoyed spending many hours a week in his basement making fishing lures that were sold by a sporting goods company. While in Jefferson, Gordy joined the Jefferson Elks Lodge #2306 and enjoyed visiting with the members and especially enjoyed playing in a 25cent poker group on Thursday afternoons.
A visitation to celebrate Gordy’s life was held Saturday, March 14th, from 1:00 to 2:00 PM at the Brown Funeral Home in Jefferson where an Elks Memorial Service was held at 1:45 PM followed by Military Honors conducted by the Offit Air Force Base Honor Guard. Burial will be made in the Tipton Masonic Cemetery in Tipton, Iowa at a later date.
Surviving Gordy were his children; Bill (Lori) Kanke of Saint Joseph, MO., Brenda (Greg) Poole of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, grandchildren; Gabriel and Alan Perenick, Ethan (Chelsea), Matthew, Phillip Kanke and Sara and Dayle Poole, great-grandchildren; Elizabeth, Jude and Benjamin Kanke and Jenna Strable, a brother, Richard (Colleen) Kanke of Orlando, FL., and a sister, Karen (Jack) James of Boone, N.C., step-children, Amy (Brian) Strable of Ankeny and Tony (Mila) Strable of West Des Moines. Those who preceded him in death were his parents, his wife, Bernice, his partner in later life, Karen, children; Kevin Kanke and Sherry Preneick and a brother and a sister.