Erma “Ermie” Jane (nee Guenthner) Jahnke, 83, died Sunday, March 11, 2018, of complications of Parkinson’s disease and has reunited with her husband Aaron and her dog Birdie, where they can now fish and walk the wooded trails of heaven with Al and Judy.
Erma was born July 24, 1934, in an Antigo hospital in Langlade County to George and Bernadyn Guenthner.
Ermie was raised on a dairy farm outside of Antigo and loved all the kitties. She attended a one-room schoolhouse, Longfellow Grade School, and later she attended Antigo High School. Ermie attended Langlade Teacher’s College for two years, where she met and later married Aaron Jahnke on July 25, 1953. Ermie lived with her grandma Guenthner for one year while Aaron finished school. She proudly taught grades 1-4 for one year in Shawano County. Ermie gave up teaching when her daughter Julie was born in Shawano. Ermie and Aaron moved to Hilbert, Wisconsin, where her son Mark was born, and they lived there six years making good friends with Jack and Mona Sweere. In 1961, the couple built a home in Chilton, where her son Brian was born, and they lived there four years growing lasting friendships with their neighbors, especially Helen and Cliff Schaubs. In 1965, Ermie and her family moved to Waupun and in 1968, her son Matthew was born.
Ermie loved working as a waitress at supper clubs like the 49er in Hilbert, Helbing’s in Beaver Dam, Johnny Van’s and 151 Club in Waupun. Later in life, Ermie happily worked at Roberta’s Fashion Boutique in Waupun, where she continued to make lasting friendships. In 1994, Ermie and Aaron built their “place” up north. It was here that they would unwind and have lots of fun. Ermie could fish all day, she loved to snowmobile, cook on the fire, take walks and play cards laughing late into the night.
Ermie will be remembered as a fun-loving happy wife, mother, sister and neighbor. She made friends with so many good people and will not be forgotten by anyone. Getting together with friends, going out to eat and always keeping in close touch, often through letter writing, was very important to Ermie.
Loving mother to Julie (Stan) VandeBerg, Mark (Barbara) Jahnke, Brian (LizAnn) Jahnke, and Matthew Jahnke. Ermie always had fun with her six grandchildren, Jeanna (Derek) Reiter, Joseph (Danielle) VandeBerg, Hannah (Adam) Lukaszewicz, Jacob (T.R.) Jahnke-Sexton, Aaron, and Lucas Jahnke. She was a great-grandmother to Ella, Vera, Madden and Charley. Mitten, Ermie’s cat, was always by her side.
Ermie is survived by two brothers, Jerry (Bobbie Jo) Guenthner and DuWayne (Mary) Guenthner; a sister, Bonnie (Charles) Kellam; and a large extended family.
Ermie was preceded in death by her husband, Aaron, in July 2001; her dearest sister and friend, Judy (Guenthner) Adams, in July 2017; and her brother-in-law, Albert Adams, in January 2007.
The family thanks the caregivers, especially Hope McCurry at Prairie Ridge, where mom lived from January 2012 until the time of her death. Also a heartfelt appreciation and gratitude is extended to Generations Hospice, all of whom tenderly cared for her since 2016.
The family requests memorials may be made out to the Waupun Animal Shelter.
A memorial service and celebration of Ermie will be held Wednesday, March 14, at 6 p.m. at Werner-Harmsen Funeral Home in Waupun with the Rev. Ken Loehrke officiating. Friends and relatives may call on the family Wednesday from 3 p.m. until the time of service.
Werner-Harmsen Funeral Home of Waupun is serving the family. Please visit our website at www.wernerharmsenfuneralhome.com for further information and to send condolences.