Obituary for Harvey Klafke

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Harvey Klafke died on August 18, 2019. He was born July 26, 1927 to Joseph and Sophie Klafke in Milwaukee, WI.
Harvey attended Boy's Tech in Milwaukee and had an interest in working in lithography. He was called to military service 1945-46 and served his country at the American Military Cemetery at the St. Avold region in France working on identification and isolated cases in the Graves Registration Service. Later he transferred to the American Military Cemetery, Cambridge England. He was promoted to the rank of Sargent at 18 years of age.
After the war Harvey and his brother Alvin, who returned from the Pacific theater, travelled "out west" working on the Great Northern Railroad as telegraph linemen. Upon his return home he started dating the love of his life, Josephine, and they married on April 30, 1949. They just celebrated 70 years of marriage.
His interest in printing landed him employment at the Gugler Lithograph Company, Milwaukee, WI. That ended in 1963. While working a part-time construction job on the side for a little extra money an industrial accident left him a paraplegic in a wheelchair, never to be able to walk again. But with his eternal optimism and a will to overcome obstacles, he never slowed down. His first great love was fly fishing. He bought a boat and trailer, rigged it up with special seats, and we were off. He even fished the Madison River. Later when his two sons took up hunting, he bagged mule deer and antelope out west. He did quite a bit of waterfowl hunting on the Mississippi River and goose hunting at Horicon Marsh. He went everywhere. His car was fit with hand controls for driving; he could do anything.
When his sons were old enough to join the "Scouts”, he volunteered with our local troop as activities chairman. He put together several trips to the Border waters canoe area where he and his scouts even earned the 50 Mile Award for covering the distance by canoe. Later he volunteered for regional services becoming a chairperson for the Southeast District, Milwaukee area Boy Scouts of America.
When his daughter Louise, a graduate from Gateway Technical College, Racine, WI acquired a pilot's license, that was a new world. Flying! He loved it! She took him up many times to compile hours of flight time, adding to her experience. He couldn't get enough. Later she introduced him to a friend that was able to fly him and his son, Joe, up to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada across Lake Winnipeg and up to Churchill where they saw the polar bears.
He spent his later years in the arts and crafts building model wooden boats, and doing scrimshaw on bone and ivory. He designed a powder horn for muzzle loading rifles. His interest in black powder grew and he designed and built a traditional Pennsylvania flintlock rifle. He developed an interest in carving waterfowl decoys after his son, Mike, an artist, had taken him and Mom out to see the Eastern Waterfowl Festival in Maryland that he was participating in. Harvey was able to meet some of the carvers, artists, collectors, and authors of books on the finest decoys in the country. Harvey spent a lot of his time studying history, collecting books on Abraham Lincoln, and the Civil War. Starting in August 2014 he watched "The Great War" series on YouTube with his son Mike. It was a day by day account of what happened exactly 100 years ago from August 1914 to the Armistice November 1918.
Harvey is survived by his wife of 70 years, Josie, who just celebrated her 91 birthday this past March. They have three children; Mike Klafke of Holmen, Louise (Joe) Lokken of Plum City, WI, and Joe (Debbie) Klafke of Holmen. Together they have six grandchildren; Matt Lokken (Christi Hanestad), Veronica Lokken, Samantha (Greg) Minor, Jason (Vikki) Fitzpatrick, Tim (Melissa) Fitzpatrick, and Matt (Lynn) Fitzpatrick, and ten great-grandchildren. Harvey is also survived by two brothers; Alvin (Barbara) Klafke of Milwaukee, WI, and Ken (Sherry) Klafke of Turtle Lake, WI along with many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Corrine McManus.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, August 23rd at 11:00 a.m. at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 1031 Main Street, Onalaska. Father Sebastian Kolodziejczyk will officiate and entombment with military honors will be in the Mormon Coulee Cemetery Mausoleum. Friends may visit with the family on Friday at the church from 9:00 a.m. until time of services. The Dickinson Family Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.