Donald G. “Don” Wernke

Donald G. “Don” Wernke

Donald G. “Don” Wernke, age 80, of Dubuque, was called home peacefully at 11:20 p.m., on Thursday, January 31, 2019, at UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital surrounded by his loving family. To honor Don’s life, funeral services will be held at 7:00 p.m., on Monday, February 4, 2019, at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, with Deacon John Stierman officiating. To celebrate Don’s life, family and friends may visit from 3:00 p.m., until the time of services at 7:00 p.m., on Monday, February 4, 2019, at Behr Funeral Home. Burial will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.

Don was born on September 8, 1938, in Edgewood, Iowa, son of Henry and Ida (Digman) Wernke.

Don attended Holy Ghost School and went on to graduate from Dubuque Senior High School. He was a hard worker who put his knowledge and skills to good use in the maintenance department with Klauer Manufacturing for 35 years, until his well earned retirement. Don was united in marriage to Linda Koenig, on May 13, 1961, and they were blessed with 3 children, before they would eventually go their separate ways. He was later united in marriage to Barbara Johnson, on May 6, 1972, and they were blessed with 31 wonderful years and 3 children together, before she was sadly called home ahead of him on August 28, 2003. Fortunately, Don would go on to find love once again and would be united in marriage to Helen Vondran Maas, on August 24, 2012, in Dubuque. Don had an outgoing personality and enjoyed spending time hanging out at the Boat Club with his friends swapping stories, and in his younger days was quite the boxer. He was well known for always being ready to lend a helping hand to anyone in need, no matter the time of day or night. In his free time, Don also enjoyed watching any sport the Iowa Hawkeyes were playing, or heading out with his rod and reel in hand, to spend the day on the river in hopes of catching “the big one”. He was also quite proud of his domestic skills when it came to sewing on buttons or grilling out for family gatherings. We are deeply saddened at the loss of our husband, dad, grandpa and brother, but are grateful for the multitude of wonderful memories he leaves with us to cherish forever.

Those left to cherish Don’s memory include

his wife,
Helen Wernke, Dubuque, IA;

his children,
Andrew (Sara) Wernke, Columbus, GA,
Donald Joseph Wernke, Tucson, AZ,
Jeffery Wernke, Flagstaff, AZ,
Jennifer (Roger Bartell) Wernke, Galena, IL,
Brenda (Dennis) Brehm, Dubuque, IA
and Jason (Melissa) Wernke, Dubuque, IA;

his 10 grandchildren;

several great-grandchildren;

several great great-grandchildren;

his step-children,
Debra Kotz, Dubuque, IA,
Clayton Bailey, Dubuque, IA,
William Bailey, Dubuque, IA,
Carl (fiancé Jill) Bailey, Nevada,
Donald (Carol) Maas, Dubuque, IA
and Leilani Maas, Dubuque, IA;

his siblings,
Fred “Fritz” (Barbara) Wernke, Solana Beach, CA
and Diane “DeeDee” Hasken, Dubuque, IA;

and a sister-in-law,
Pat Wernke, Dubuque, IA.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Barbara Wernke; a sister, Mary Root; 2 brothers, John “Stretch” (Mary) Wernke and Hank Wernke; a brother-in-law, Dave Hasken; and a step-son, Robert Bailey.

Don’s family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of Finley Hospital, and Stonehill for their kind, compassionate and professional care of Don and his family.

Memorials will be accepted by the family to be distributed among his favorite charities.


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Behr Funeral Home
1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa
February 4th, 2019 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Funeral Service

Behr Funeral Home
1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa
February 4th, 2019 at 7:00 PM

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