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Otto W. Toepke

1928 - 2019
Otto W. Toepke Obituary
Otto W. Toepke

Oct. 12, 1928 - August 3, 2019

MISHAWAKA, IN - In the early hours of Saturday, August 3, 2019, Otto W. Toepke, 90, peacefully passed from this world into eternity to be with the Lord. Otto was born in Elmwood Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, on October 12, 1928 to Agnes (Kinney) and Otto Toepke. He is survived by Eileen, his wife of sixty-nine years; and his daughters, Susan (Russell) Garrison of Palatine, Illinois and Denise (Peter) Trybula of Granger, Indiana. He also leaves four grandchildren, Adam Garrison, Elizabeth Trybula, Austin Trybula (Laura), and Gregory Trybula; and three great-grandchildren, Braydon Trybula, Liam Trybula, and Haylee Trybula. His younger brother, Clarence, passed from this world in 1960 and his youngest brother, David Toepke (Ruth) of Algonquin, Illinois survives him.

Otto grew up in Momence, Illinois and after graduating from Momence High School in 1946, he enlisted in the United States Army. Otto served in the Airborne division as part of the United States' occupation force in Japan until his discharge on April 13, 1948. After leaving active duty in the Army, Otto enlisted in the Air Force Reserve and returned to Chicago, Illinois, where he worked with his father in the family's bakery at the corner of Roscoe Oakley in Chicago. There he met Eileen Florence Bruksch, the love of his life, who survives him. Otto and Eileen married on July 5, 1950 and this past July 5 they celebrated sixty-nine years of marriage. Only a few months after they married, Otto was again called to active duty and served In California until April 10, 1952. He and Eileen then returned to Chicago, Illinois. Otto remained in the Air Force Reserve until April 10, 1955.

For many years, Otto and Eileen owned and operated Toepke's Bakery on 25th Street in Franklin Park, Illinois. Over the years, Otto and Eileen were long-time members of Irving Park Baptist Church, and then Park Ridge Baptist church. Otto served as a Sunday school teacher and a deacon at both churches.

In 1980, Otto and Eileen sold Toepke's Bakery and limited his work to decorating wedding cakes for Jarosch Bakery in Elk Grove Village, Illinois until he retired in 1997. Shortly after Otto retired, he and Eileen moved to Granger, Indiana. Otto and Eileen were members of Grace Baptist Church. Otto took up baking again in 1998 in the food service at Bethel College, where he prepared deserts for students, faculty and staff and became affectionately known as “the donut man”. In 2016, Otto and Eileen moved from Granger to the Primrose Retirement Community in Mishawaka, Indiana, where they have many dear friends among the residents and caregivers.

Otto was a man of great strength, strong in his faith, strong in his love and caring for his family. He was also kind and friendly. It was often said that he never met a stranger, always enjoying a conversation with everyone that he met.

Otto's family will visit with friends on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm at the Welsheimer Family Funeral Home North located at 17033 Cleveland Road, South Bend, IN 46635. A service celebrating his life and his home going will be held at 10:30 am on Thursday, August 8, 2019 in the funeral home, with burial to follow at Saint Joseph Memorial Park, Granger.

Otto's family would like to thank Dr. Rafat Ansari, Brandi, April and all the medical staff at Michiana Hematology/Oncology for the caring and compassionate care they gave him over the past 7 months. Also, thanks to the nurses, CNAs and staff at Primrose Retirement Community. They have become his family.

In lieu of flowers Otto's family requests that contributions be made in his name to The Center for Hospice Care c/o Hospice Foundation, 501 Comfort Pl., Mishawaka, IN 46545. Family and friends may leave email condolences at www.welsheimer.com.
Published in South Bend Tribune on Aug. 5, 2019
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