Melvin O. Warnke, age 78 of Norway, Iowa, died Friday, January 31, 2014 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids. Funeral Services: 10:30 A.M. Thursday, February 6, 2014, Trinity Lutheran Church, Walford with Rev. Travis Borkosky officiating. Burial with Military Honors: Floral Hills Cemetery, rural Oelwein. Visitation: 4 to 7 P.M. Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Walford. Memorials may be contributed to Trinity Lutheran Church, Walford for new altar dressings. Kloster Funeral Home, Marengo is in charge of arrangements.
He is survived by his wife Shirley; his children, Renae Landon (Rick) of Idaho Falls, ID, Michele Warnke of Des Moines, and Galen Warnke of Zumbrota, MN; grandsons, Ryan Jackson of Idaho and Bruce Warnke of Mazeppa, MN; granddaughters, Kara Toler of Blackfoot, ID and Ashley Warnke of Goodhue, MN; three great-grandchildren, Wyatt Kern, Kaylee and Kylie Toler, and one soon to be born.
Also surviving are three sisters, Dorothy Bowers of Hawkeye, Ruby Westpfahl of Oelwein, and Verdis Fedeler (John) of Sumner; a brother Vernon Warnke (Linda) of Oelwein; stepsons, James Schwake (Christine) of Altoona, Jay Schwake (Andrea) of Solon and Jarret Schwake (Wendy) of Waukesha, WI; a stepdaughter, JaNan O’Brian (Robert) of Ames; step-granddaughters, Fallyn and Lauran Schwake, and step-grandsons, Karch, Benjamin, Adam and Austin Schwake.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Grace, two brothers-in-law Archie Bowers and Oliver Westpfahl, and a sister in infancy.
Melvin Otto Warnke was born October 6, 1935 near Sumner, Iowa, the son of Herman and Lydia Zummach Warnke. He received his education in the country schools near Ionia and Sumner, Iowa. In 1954 he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving during the Korean Conflict. He was stationed in Tokyo, Japan, and discharged in 1957. He returned to Sumner and began working for H.J. Schult Elevator. On June 18, 1961, he married Karen Cox in Charles City. The couple relocated to Rochester MN where he was employed at A.Y. McDonald Mfg. Firm. To this union three children were born. The couple later divorced. He and his children returned to Oelwein, Iowa in 1968, and he and his brother-in-law, Oliver Westpfahl began W & W Trucking. From 1974-1986 he worked for Overland Express. He sold his interest in W & W Trucking and in July of 1986 he started driving for Wal-Mart until his retirement in January 2006. Following 6 months of retirement, he returned to work part-time for Truck Country in Cedar Rapids. He again retired in 2011. All total, Melvin drove for 39 years and he belonged to the 3 million-mile club for Walmart. On April 8, 1989, Melvin married Shirley Ann Schwake at Gloria De Lutheran Church in Iowa City. The couple made their home in Norway.
Melvin enjoyed woodworking, playing cards and going to the Casinos. He loved to watch his grandsons; Karch, Adam and Austin play baseball and football. He was always ready to play tea party with Lauran. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Walford, and the Norway American Legion Post #234. He was a past member of the Sumner American Legion.