Melvin O. Warnake, 78, of Norway, died Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids. Funeral Services were held Feb. 6 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Walford with the Rev. Travis Borkosky officiating. Burial with Military Honors was at Floral Hills Cemetery, rural Oelwein. Memorials may be contributed to Trinity Lutheran Church, Walford.
He is survived by his wife Shirley; his children, Renae Landon (Rick) of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Michele Warnke of Des Moines, and Galen Warnke of Zumbrota, Minn.; grandsons, Ryan Jackson of Idaho and Bruce Warnke of Mazeppa, Minn.; granddaughters, Kara Toler of Blackfoot, Idaho, and Ashley Warnke of Goodhue, Minn.; three great-grandchildren, 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, Wis.; a stepdaughter, JaNan O’Brian (Robert) of Ames; step-granddaughters, Fallyn and Lauran Schwake, and step-grandsons, Karch, Benjamin, Adam and Austin Schwake.
Melvin Otto Warnke was born Oct. 6, 1935, near Sumner, the son of Herman and Lydia (Zummach) Warnke. He received his education in the country schools near Ionia and Sumner. In 1954 he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving during the Korean Conflict. 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 Minn. where he was employed at A.Y. McDonald Mfg. Firm. To this union three children were born. The couple later divorced.
He returned to Oelwein in 1968, where with his brother-in-law, Oliver Westpfahl began W & W Trucking. He worked for various trucking firms for 39 years until his retirement ins 2011. On April 8, 1989, Melvin married Shirley Ann Schwake at Gloria De Lutheran Church in Iowa City. The couple made their home in Norway.
He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Walford, and the Norway American Legion Post #234.