Ronald Jahnke, 89, of Waukon, Iowa, died Thursday, November 2, 2023, at Northgate Care Center in Waukon. Memorial services were held Monday, November 6, at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Waukon, with Pastor Bryan Robertson officiating. Burial with military honors took place at Waterloo Ridge Cemetery, Dorchester, Iowa. Friends greeted the family from 9 a.m. until the time of services at church. Martin-Grau Funeral Home in Waukon handled arrangements.
Ronald Alvin Jahnke was born on September 10, 1934, to Gertrude (Luebka) and Lester Jahnke in Postville, Iowa. He grew up in the Frankville area and was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Postville. He attended a one room schoolhouse until the eighth grade, after which Ron helped farm. At age 19, he met the love of his life Marilyn Winke. He proudly joined the Navy at the age of 21. He served from 1955 to 1957 as a gunner on the USS Vesuvius, an ammunition supply ship. After his time spent in the service, Ron and Marilyn were married on September 28, 1957, at Salem United Church of Christ in Waukon. From this marriage, they raised six sons: Mark, Darrell, Wayne, Lyle, Gary, and Gregg.
The majority of Ron’s life was spent farming while also spending time as a transit bus driver and driving school bus for Allamakee County. Ron was a hard worker, but he also knew how to enjoy himself with many hobbies and interests. He enjoyed fishing with family and friends. He also enjoyed coin collecting and antique tractors, and as a skilled mechanic, he loved fixing farm machinery. You could often find Ron sitting down with a big bucket of hickory nuts and walnuts, cracking them. He was a sports fan and followed the Iowa Hawkeyes and Milwaukee Brewers.
He is survived by his beloved wife Marilyn, of Waukon; sons Mark Jahnke (Jill Mullen) of Brownsville, Minn., son Darrell Jahnke of Waukon, Iowa, Gary Jahnke (Susan) of Spring Grove, Minn., and Gregg Jahnke (Michelle Loken) of Houston, Minn.; daughters-in-law Michelle Jahnke of Spring Grove, Minn., and Jennifer Jahnke of Dorchester, Iowa; nine grandchildren: Amanda (Chris) Kohlmeier, Adam Jahnke, Jamie Jahnke, Kerri Jahnke (Nathan Fater), Aryn Stortz (Tyler), Brookelyn Borreson (Taylor), Alison Jahnke (Louden Fergusen), Paige Jahnke (Ty Cleven) and Brandon Jahnke; seven great-grandchildren: Madisyn, Tayler, and Alexis Kohlmeier, Cameron Johnson, Haven and Natalie Borreson, and Gage Stortz; and a sister-in-law, Lillian Jahnke of Postville, Iowa.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents Lester and Gertrude Jahnke; two sons, Wayne and Lyle Jahnke; and two brothers, Leslie and Jimmy Jahnke.
Honorary urnbearers are Ron’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Online condolences may be left at www.martinfunerals.com.