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August 24, 1935 – Thursday, June 11, 2015

Service Information
Immanuel Ev. Lutheran Church – Pelican Lake
Monday, June 15, 2015
11:00 A.M.

Visitation Information
Immanuel Ev. Lutheran Church – Pelican Lake
Sunday, June 14, 2015
4 – 8 PM, prayer service 7 PM

William “Bill” Benjamin Kowalke, age 79, of Buffalo passed away on Thursday, June 11, 2015 at Lake Ridge Oasis in Buffalo.
He was born on August 24, 1935 in Minneapolis the son of Henry O. & Mayta M. (Schmidt) Kowalke.
He was baptized on October 6, 1935 at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church by Pastor W.C. Nickels. He was also instructed in the Lutheran Catechism and confirmed in the Christian faith on March 21, 1948 by Pastor W.P. Haar.
He graduated from Buffalo High School in 1952.
On September 17, 1955, William B. Kowalke and Vernice M. Ordorff were joined in holy marriage at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Buffalo. Pastor E.R. Berwald performed the wedding ceremony.
Bill was a loving husband, brother, uncle, great uncle, great, great uncle and friend. He was a man with a heart as big as himself, going the extra mile to help people.
He was a religious man, hardworking, successful, honest, kind, generous and caring. Bill was also a hunter, fisherman, card player and a teacher. Many people cherished the memory of learning to hunt, fish and play cards under the watchful eye of Billy. Bill also had a great sense of humor and a story for every situation. He was a great cook and many enjoyed a tasty meal that he turned out on the camp stove or grill. Bill made friends easily, was a magnet to children and showed great patience with older people.
He served in the Army Reserve from 1957 until 1964.
Bill was a faithful, lifelong member of Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church-Pelican Lake. Through the years, Bill served his Church as janitor, organist, Church Council Member, Treasurer, Building Committees, Cemetery Board, Usher and was instrumental in founding the Jesus Cares Ministry Program at Immanuel.
He also belonged to 4-H, Farm Bureau, N.R.A., Rod and Gun Club and was a volunteer at The Wise Penney.
Survived by devoted wife of fifty nine years: Vernice (Ordorff) Kowalke; brothers: James (Darlene) Kowalke of Watertown and Kim (Liz) Kowalke of Scottsville, New York; a sister: Karen (Gary) Klauson of Medicine Lake; a sister-in-law: Lucille Weldele of Buffalo, a sister-in-law & brother-in-law: Marlys (James) Schermer of Monticello; special nieces and nephews: Brenda (Randy) Des Marais and Brent (Geri) Kowalke all of Buffalo, Bonni (Mike) Ainsworth of Rexville, New York, Becki (Chad) Rentz of Hillman, Minnesota, Mya (Alonzo) Hatchette of Longwood, Florida, Justin Klauson of Medicine Lake, Minnesota and Kyle Kowalke of Scottsville,New York; further survived by a host of other nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, and great grandnieces and great grandnephews and by other relatives and friends. They all had a special place in Billy’s heart!
Preceded in death by parents Henry & Mayta (Schmidt) Kowalke, father-in-law & mother-in-law George & Florence (Mosher) Ordorff, a sister-in-law Beverly Kowalke and by a brother-in-law Jerome Weldele.
Funeral services for William “Bill” Kowalke will be held on Monday, June 15th at 11:00 A.M. at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church-Pelican Lake. Pastor Stephen Smith will officiate. Interment will follow at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery. Karen Davis will be the organist for the funeral service.
A visitation will be held on Sunday, June 14th from 4-8 P.M. at the church with a Prayer service at 7:00 P.M. Further visitation will be held on Monday morning, June 15th one hour prior to services at the church.
Casket Bearers will be Brent Kowalke, Kyle Kowalke, Justin Klauson, Matthew and Michael Des Marais and Chad Rentz.

6 Guestbook Entries

  1. Diane and Al Gapinski

    Dear Vernice,

    We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Bill. I have a lot of very happy childhood memories of fishing on Mille Lacs. You are in our prayers.

  2. Beatrice Mitchell

    My heartfelt condolences to the family at this time of loss. The pain and sorrow felt by so many reminds us that it was never a part of God’s original purpose for death to separate us from the ones we love. May you be comforted by God’s promise of resurrection by means of Jesus found at John 5:28,29. There we are assured that our precious loved ones who are in God’s memory have the hope of returning to life and being reunited with those who love them so much. Yet this is just one of the wonderful promises of God we have to look forward to. May your happy memories warm your hearts as we await fulfillment of all the promises of God.

  3. Tim Kowalke

    Bill was one of my oldest cousins.
    There was a time when I was a young boy and I was at a parade being apart of the croud when a clown came up to me and tried to pull a prank on me. After the clown left it came to me that this clown was Bill. I had to be about 5 or 6 years old at the time. This was one of the memories that has come to me of Bill.

  4. Roxanne Hoppe

    I remember working with Bill at the Wise Penny. He was a very helpful, hard working man. My condolences to the family as he will be greatly missed.

  5. Alise Zachman

    So sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you and your family. Marvin and Alise Zachman

  6. Bruce Varner

    I’m so sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. I know for sure he’s in a better place.


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