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Gerke Heinrich Bohlken
September 25, 1848–June 30, 1927
G. H. Bohlken Died This Morning

Gerke H. Bohlken, for more than fifty years a resident of Scotch Grove township, died at his home at an early hour this morning, after a long period of ill health. Mr. Bohlken was born September 25, 1848, in Repshalt, Germany. He was, therefore, almost 79 years of age. He was the third son of William Bohlken, intermarried with Gebke Sophia Kleihauer. He was baptized October 23 of the year of his birth, and was confirmed in the Lutheran church in 1863, and he thereafter remained a member of that denomination.
He emigrated to the United States and landed in New York, April 23, 1870, coming shortly thereafter to Jones county, Iowa. He was married May 13, 1875 to Anna Margaret Tobiassen, at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran church, by Rev. Oetjen. As the fruit of this marriage, there were ten children born, two of whom died in infancy. He is survived by his widow and the following named children: Mrs. Peter Paulsen, Mrs. George F. Tobiassen, Mrs. Fred A. Hanken, Mrs. Howard Soper, Mrs. Henry Harms, Jr., and Messrs William Bohlken, Tobias Bohlken and Ben H. Bohlken. He is also survived by one brother, Sierke Bohlken, of LeMars; and two brothers, William and Bernhard, and one sister Meta, still living in Germany. He is survived also by twenty-nine grandchildren.
Mr. and Mrs. Bohlken celebrated their golden wedding May 13, 1925. The funeral services will be held next Sunday morning commencing at 9:30 o'clock at the family homestead in Scotch Grove, and continuing at 10 o'clock at the Wayne Center church.
At the golden wedding anniversary herein before referred to, there were nearly 300 guests present, and both dinner and supper were served to all the guests. It was a merry making time and a pleasurable occasion to both Mr. and Mrs. Bohlken. The guests present on that occasion included Mr. and Mrs. Bernhard Tobiassen, who were the bridal attendants when Mr. and Mrs. Bohlken were married. Mr. Bohlken has, by his straight-forward demeanor and uniform good nature, won the esteem of all his acquaintances, and there are many who will be pained to hear of his death.

Submitted by: Ron Ketelsen
Transcribed by: Janet Brandt
Source: Monticello Express, June 30, 1927

Life's race well run,
Life's work well done,
Life's crown well won,
and now comes rest.

These words apply to the way-worn Pilgrim who has entered into his rest, whom today we pay the last tribute of honor. It is the beloved husband, father, grandfather, and brother Gerke Henry Bohlken, born September 25, 1848, at Reepsholt, Ostfriesland, Germany, as third child in the family of the late william Bohlken and his beloved wife Gebke Sophie Kleihauer.
According to the Lutheran custom and in accordance with our Saviours command and promise he was soon after birth brought to his Saviour in the sacrament of holy baptism, October 13, 1848. Palm Sunday, 1863 he with many others renewed his baptismal vow when confirmed in the church of his home village. His boyhood days were undisturbed. April 28, 1870, the deceased left his father's country and came to the United States and proved to be a worthy citizen, not only in words as mouthpatriots, but in deeds being able, having saved, to support her in good and evil days, in times of peace and war.
May 13, 1875 he became the faithful and untiring husband of Miss Anna Margaret Tobiassen, whom he shared the burdens and joys of life for over 52 years. The marriage was preformed at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran church near Monticello by the Rev. John Oetjen. Ten children were born to this union, which all but two girls, whom died in their infancy, survive their father. Two years hence, last May 13th, the aged couple was granted the rare joy of celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Last Thursday morning at ten minutes of five o'clock, God's angel messanger summoned the father from our midst after an extended period of sickness and weakness. He, who had been the warm sun shining upon the family, neighborhood and church, now is set, he has entered his rest at the age of 78 years, 9 months and 5 days, after being smitten with a stroke the third time. Peacefully and in firm faith in the only saviour of the world, Jesus Christ, he departed this life.
The deceased was a kind and true neighbor, a faithful husband and father, a good Lutheran, regularly attending divine services and using the sacrament. In church he was an attentive listener as well as on his sick bed when called upon. A few weeks ago he prepared for the journey through the dark valley of the shadow of death, partaking of the Lord's holy body and blood. He was a friend to the poor and suffering, willing and ready to help those who were ambitious. He loved the land of his birth and crossed the ocean three times on a visit. Tenderly he was cared for at the hands of his family. His life was a blessing to many and he is blessed.
He is survived and leaves to mourn, his wife and eight children: Mrs. Peter H. Paulsen, of Center Junction; Mrs. Geo. F. Tobiassen, of Monticello; Mrs. Fred A. Hanken, of Langworthy; Mrs. Howard Soper, of Anamosa; Mrs. Henry Harms, Jr., of Scotch Grove; William, Tobias and Ben H. Bohlken, all of Jones county, with their respective families; one brother, Siefke B., of LeMars, Iowa; William and Ben Bohlken, in Germany; one sister, Mrs. Meta Behrends also in Germany; besides 29 grandchildren and many other relatives and friends.
An untiring life of blessing has come to a close, humble and common as it remained, we truly believe, it glories in Heaven above before the throne of the lamb, to whom I commend all troubled hearts, to the father of all mercy and consolation.
You have lost him who you loved,
stilled the voice so sweet to hear,
Now by death his hands are gloved,
warmed by love for many a year.
Rest is his who never asked, rest
however he was tasked.
Peace to his ashes.

Funeral services were held Sunday, July 3rd, at 9:30 a.m., at the home and at 10 o'clock at the Wayne Lutheran church. About 1000 was estimated in attendance. Burial was made in Wayne Lutheran cemetery. Rev. Willms, pastor of deceased, officiated and spoke on text Luc. 2.29-32.

Submitted by: Steve Hanken
Source: (probably) the Monticello Express, 1927.
Note: The obituary was written by Mr. Bohlken's pastor, Rev. Willms, of Wayne Zions Lutheran Church.


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