Caryl Marie (Enge) Gehrke, 86, a longtime resident of Aberdeen, Washington, passed away on July 22, 2014, after a short illness.
Caryl was born in 1927 on the family farm in Troy Township (Sauk City), Wisconsin. She was the daughter of Carl and Olive Enge.
After graduating from Sauk City High School, Caryl spent a year at college in Naperville, Illinois, and then transferred to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she earned a degree in English. She enjoyed telling relatives that at college, during World War II, she resided in the men’s dormitory, but had to move out when the men came home. Caryl met her future husband, Robert (Bob) Gehrke, on campus.
They married in 1951 and Caryl promptly set sail for England where Bob was stationed in the Air Force. She travelled throughout Western Europe during the reconstruction and even observed Queen Elizabeth’s coronation procession. They came back to the states for a time and then lived in Spain during Franco’s era. Bob’s last duty station was McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, Washington. Upon retirement in 1965, they relocated to Aberdeen, Washington, where Bob was a teacher at Grays Harbor Community College and Caryl was a home maker. At 58, she rejoined the workforce as a travel agent for Durney Travel and continued working for 20 years. She took advantage of her position and traveled all over the world touching down on all continents except Antarctica. She identified Viet Nam as her favorite country. Her last major trip was the tip of South America but she was unable to glimpse Antarctica. Of all her travels, her one regret was not visiting Syria. After retirement she devoted much time to her beautiful garden, enjoying glass pieces, rearranging the “treasures” she gathered from a lifetime of travel, and political commentaries.
Caryl is survived by her four children, Pam (Darryl) Wareham of Mill Creek, Wash.; Jeff Gehrke of Kauai, Hawaii; Linda (Robert Penhale) Gehrke of Denver, Colo. and Seattle, Wash., and Marcie (Greg) Paul of Bellingham, Wash.; her eight grandchildren, Daniel (Tracie) Wareham and Laura (Rick) Weingarz; Claire, Letha and Carly Penhale; Brandon, Taylor and Jennifer Paul; her three great-grandchildren, Rylie and Sydnee Wareham and Victoria Weingarz; and her brother, Maurice Enge, Sauk City of Wisconsin. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Gehrke and brother, Oliver Enge.
A celebration of Caryl’s life will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 7, 2013, at the Log Pavilion, 1401 Sargent Boulevard, Aberdeen, Washington, 98520. She will be interned at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon adjacent to her husband, Lt. Col Robert Gehrke.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family asks that you take a trip, enjoy a garden or visit a museum in Caryl’s memory.