Yahnke, Edna Catherine (Rye)
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Edna Catherine (Rye) Yahnke, 98, of Algoma, passed away at, the Door County Medical Center on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. She was born July 9, 1914, in Ahnapee Township, Wis., to Ole C. Rye and Emma (Viste) Rye. She married Harvey Yahnke on April4, 1934, at her mother's home In Ahnapee Township. Edna and Harvey lived their entire married life, in Algoma and operated the Mobil service station. Harvey preceded her in death on July 2, 1979.
She was a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church and a golden member of Sons of Norway. She created many family tree books, with charming colored pencIl drawings. Her house was filled with photographs and laughter. She liked to travel and garden. She loved the color blue, making birthday cakes, collecting things and lefse.
Edna is survived by five nephews, David (Pat) Rye, Algoma; James (Marty) Ryan, McGregor, Minn.; Terry (Shari) Rye, Townsend Wis.; Morris Rye, Algoma; Paul Rye, Algoma; two nieces, Patricia Delforge (Dale Larsen), De Pere, Wis.; and Mary Beth (Terry) Kirch, Cottage Grove, Wis. She is also survived by several great-nieces, great-nephews, and many cousins.
In addition to her husband, Edna was preceded in death by her parents; her two brothers and their wives, Elmer (Marguerite) Rye and Russell (Marie) Ryan; her two sisters-in-law and their husbands, Louise (August) Struck and Maryary (Bernard) Baumann; and one nephew, Richard Rye.
According to Edna's wishes, there will be no funeral service. Her remains to be interred at Evergreen Cemetery.
The following is a story written for one of Edna's recent birthdays. As it was read to her, we all laughed along, but Edna laughed the loudest.
Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was born a daughter to Emma and Ole, into a family with two brothers, Russell and Elmer. She was a frisky little girl, with a twinkle in her blue-blue eyes. She played with her brothers and cousins in her youth, worked hard at home and learned how to cook and bake and sew. Well... I don't really know about the sewing! But, the cooking and baking became known for miles around. The more she baked, the more the cousins would come, until. finally she had to say, "That's it, the house is too small, we will all have to meet at LaSalle Park for a picnic. everybody bring a dish to pass!"
Well, they came indeed; they came in droves from all over, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California, Colorado, Norway and Sturgeon Bay. They brought baked beans, macaroni salads, potato salads, lefse, Jell-O and then there was Edna's blueberry torte. "Who made that torte, that delicious blueberry torte", you couldn't keep people away from it! That sparked more tortes and desserts, which soon filled an entire picnic table.
Edna grew up and became a fine young Christian woman of the area. One day, while all the cousins were eating her desserts, Edna snuck away and met Harvey at the Mobil Gas Station in Algoma, under the pretense she was looking for more blueberries! He was struck by that twinkle in her blue-blue eyes and he said "meet me tonight down at the beach, when I'm done pumping gas". So, that clear midsummer night, about the middle of July, when even the nights are beautiful in Algoma, they met down at the beach. Surrounded by a 3-sided room of cedar trees, which overlooked a moonlit Lake Michigan, Harvey bent down and proposed on his knee!
The town was aflutter, "Did you hear who's getting married! Why it's the cute little blonde with the big blue eyes and that tall guy from the Mobil Gas Station!!" Let there be a celebration! Bring on the blueberry torte. "Oh, no" Edna said, "I'm the one getting married. I don't want to cook and bake for the whole list of guests at the wedding"', but they wouldn't hear a thing she said. Sure enough, she did all the cooking for her wedding reception, including strawberry and strawberry-raspberry pie, with real whipped cream. But., the people at the wedding were so awestruck with the beauty of the bride and groom (mostly the bride) that, the desserts just didn't all get eaten.
So, Harvey had to build Edna a house with a walk-in cooler, to store all those extra pies. He said, "from now on, I'll be the proudest man in town, because my wife cooks like Martha Stewart". Edna said, "Who's she... your first girlfriend?" Harvey said., "That's for me to know and you to find out!"
And the house was grand, a fireplace in the living room with a BIG window overlooking the lake. A door that came right into the kitchen nook, with all kinds of wonderful cabinets, a dining room overlooking a garden of great, delight. There were lovely trees, jack-in-the-pulpits, ferns and raspberry bushes all over the place. Soon her nieces and nephews heard about the raspberries and started showing up on the porch. They acted like they wanted to visit, but waited for offers of ice cream sundaes with raspberries on top, or Black Cow root beer floats (with a real glass straw), or maybe a Dilly bar with the lucky stick? Who knew what you'd find, and the jam berries... it just couldn't be better! Except for the alligator bugs.
But, that wasn't the only thing, Edna was always so much fun to be around. She was always up to something and wouldn't make you weed the garden! And sometimes you'd even find yourself getting driving lessons out in the back roads if you were lucky!
And, to this day, she still lives in the house that Harvey built overlooking Lake Michigan. Some dogs and cats have come and gone. I don't know why, but she's still mad at Harvey about not telling her about Martha Stewart! Some major changes had to be done over the years, but, when you live to be that, old, things just need to get fixed after awhile, but the most important thing, is that she lives the good life she deserves, in the surroundings she enjoys.
Love & Happy Birthday' Now pass the pie please! Love. Patricia
The Schinderle Funeral Home, Algoma, assisted the family with arrangements.
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from Nov. 21 to Nov. 24, 2012