Gaenell Ehrke, age 85, of Blanket, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Monday, January 4, 2021. Gaenell was born to John and Dollie Stewart on January 31, 1935, in Winters, Texas. She married Jack B. Ehrke on May 22,1952. Their marriage ceremony was performed by the Reverend S.L. Yeilding.
Gaenell was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She was continually active in her children’s school activities serving as room mother and working with the PTA. She attended innumerable athletic activities of her children and grandchildren. She enjoyed hosting large family holiday celebrations and was an exceptional cook and homemaker.
She was an avid seamstress, creating original clothing for her children including the wedding dresses of both of her daughters. She was an outstanding quilter and many members of her family have one of her quilts to treasure.
Gaenell was a lifelong member of Salt Creek Baptist Church and regularly active in all aspects of church life. She taught children’s Sunday School for 40 years and worked each summer in Vacation Bible School. She lived a life of service to her Lord Jesus Christ and loved her Salt Creek Church family like her own.
She loved nature. Gaenell and Jack spent many hours working in their beautiful flower beds and lawn. She could readily identify many wildflowers and her back yard was a haven for all varieties of birds. They walked morning and evening around their farm in the Salt Creek area with their dog “Lady” and sometimes a cat or two.
Gaenell is survived by her husband of 68 years, Jack Ehrke; sons, Howard Ehrke and wife Burna, Larry Ehrke and wife Judy, all of Blanket; daughter, Jackie Stansbury and husband Tommy of Santa Anna; daughter, Connie Teal and husband Tommy of Blanket; brother, Geral Glen Stewart of Hobbs, NM; sister-in-law, Betty Stewart of Lovington, NM. Gaenell is also survived by 9 grandchildren; John Ehrke and wife Brittany of Abilene, Kay Gibbs and husband Chris of Austin, Missy Lunn and husband Ethan of Tolar, Eric McNeese and wife Sarah of Brownwood, Brenda Leuellen of Kyle, Bryan Craig of Sulphur Springs, Brandon Craig and wife Tiffany of Haslet, Brigitte Stegemoller and husband Jeremy of Brownwood, Brandye Chandler and husband Vance of Brownwood. Gaenell is survived by 17 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and a host of friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents, John and Dollie Stewart; father and mother-in-law, John and Joy Ehrke; brothers, Wesley J. Stewart, Lowell Stewart, Darrel Stewart, and Bruce Stewart; sister, Doris Cerrone and husband Lewis; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Linda and James Lewis, Coleta and Mack Heard; sister in laws, Joyce Stewart, Aleissa Renne Stewart; great grandson, Benjamin Craig; nieces, Virginia Johnson, Kerry Lilley and Dawn Holland.
Funeral services, under the direction of Heartland Funeral Home of Early, will be held at 11:00 AM Monday, January 18, 2021, at Salt Creek Baptist Church with Jimmie Mize officiating,
interment to follow at the Salt Creek Cemetery. The family will greet friends at the funeral home 2-4:00 PM on Sunday afternoon.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her memory to Salt Creek Baptist Church, P.O. Box 3349, Early, Texas 76803.
Condolences, memories and tributes can be offered to the family online at heartlandfuneralhome.net.