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Alfred "Ollie" Gruenke

Alfred "Ollie" Gruenke

Alfred "Ollie" Gruenke, 87, of Sheboygan passed away on Tuesday morning, August 27, 2013 at Pine Haven Covenant Home.

Ollie was born on August 5, 1926 in Sheboygan, a son to the late Anton and Magdaline Gruenke. He attended St. Peter Claver Catholic School and graduated from Sheboygan Central High School. Ollie was an Army veteran serving his country during World War II.

On October 29, 1949 he was united in marriage to Joyce Nelson. Ollie began his career as a commercial fisherman on Lake Michigan before working at Leverenz Shoe Company, Polarware, and Plastics Engineering. He retired from Plenco after 23 years.

After retirement, Ollie used his knowledge to help his son, Gordy begin The Gruenke Company, Inc. His efforts are evident in signage all over the country. He also became a loyal member of the senior swimmers at the Central High School Pool, rarely missing a day. Most recently, Ollie enjoyed his "job" at The Gathering Place. His willingness to participate, his enthusiasm, and his smile were always welcomed.

Ollie was a lifelong member of St. Peter Claver Parish. He took being Catholic seriously and volunteered for roles as Eucharistic Minister, and grass cutting. At Christmas, for several years, he shared his hardy "Ho-Ho-Ho," as he became Santa Glaus phoning children for the Recreation Department.

Ollie enjoyed fishing with Bob Vogt on Lake Michigan. The fish would scatter when the two set their lines. Dad would smoke the salmon and trout to perfection and would always share with family and friends.

Alfred is survived by his wife, Joyce; four children, Gordon (Therese), Geraldine, Grant (Barbara), and Glenn (Tamara); seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant son, Gregory; brothers Joseph and Edward; his sisters, Marion Lehman and Margaret Awe.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, 1444 S. 11th St., Sheboygan with Rev. Paul Fliss as celebrant. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery. Family and friends may gather at the church on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of Mass at 11:00 a.m.

The Reinbold-Novak Funeral Home is serving the family.

"Always a song, always a smile, always a fishing story," said Suki and Cocoa the beloved family dogs.

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Published in Sheboygan Press on Aug. 29, 2013
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