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1929 Geraldine 2022

Geraldine Hanke

August 5, 1929 — January 27, 2022

“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” (Revelation 14:13)

Geraldine Viola Hanke was embraced by her Lord and Savior on Thursday, January 27, 2022, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. She was born Geraldine Engen in Minneapolis, MN, on August 5, 1929 to Carlton and Quinn Engen and was their first of six children. Although she grew up during the great depression, she had nothing but wonderful memories with her grandmother, parents, siblings and many aunts, uncles and cousins. Like many at that time, she unselfishly left school at 14 to work to help the family during WWII. After the war she was working at the Lafayette Country Club where she met the love of her life, Willis Hanke, who was a cook at the time. They married on April 18, 1949 and then her life’s work began, becoming a mother of 10 children over the next 15 years. They found themselves in Fargo/Moorhead, Winona, MN, Redwing, MN, and Northfield, MN. In 1965 they moved to Watertown, WI where she worked with Willis at Northwestern Lutheran College and Preparatory School. After 27 years in Watertown, the two retired, moving to a lake home in Backus, MN in 1990. They lived there for the next 30 years where she enjoyed family and retirement. Geraldine passed away at the Edgewood Vista healthcare facility surrounded by her family, singing hymns of praise to the Lord who had watched over her for so many years.

Geraldine was a strong Christian mother who instilled in her children the importance of family and service to Christ. She loved being a mother to 10 children as well as 26 grandchildren and 37 great grandchildren that followed. Having her home filled with family and friends was happiness. She and Willis loved their church family members of Christ Lutheran Church in Baxter, MN. The legacy that she leaves is one of the love and service to her Savior and love and dedication to family.

Geraldine was preceded in death by her husband, Willis Hanke; parents, Carlton and Quinn Engen; sister, Marian Shoultz; brother, Marvin Engen; son, Daniel Hanke; and grandson, Samuel Gensmer. She is survived by sister, Luverne Johnson; brother, William Engen; sister, Virginia Schultz; children: Lynda Krueger (Charles), Marlys Reid (Pieter), Eileen Olson (Dennis), James, Thomas, John (Joyce), Timothy, Sharon Gensmer (Gavin), Karen Kroll (Daniel); daughter-in-law, Sheryl Hanke; 26 grandchildren, 38 great grandchildren.

The visitation will be on Tuesday, February 1 at 10:00 am, followed by service of life at 11:00 am at Christ Lutheran Church, 13815 Cherrywood Dr., Baxter, MN. Interment at 2 pm at Minnesota State Veteran’s Cemetery, Camp Ripley.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Geraldine Hanke, please visit our flower store.


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