THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Grace L. Hardtke-Milchner
Grace L. Hardtke-Milchner, 88, Oconto Falls, died, Thursday morning, July 25, with her family present.
Born Jan. 11, 1925 in Oconto to Harry and Edna (Whiting) Exferd, she grew up in Oconto where she attended high school and graduated with honors in 1943.
On June 26, 1943 she married Harold L. Hardtke at Grace Lutheran Church in Oconto Falls. The couple owned and operated the Hardtke family farm for many years where they raised their eight children.
A long time member of Grace Lutheran Church in Oconto Falls, she served as treasurer for 34 years, was involved in Women of the Church activities, and served as president for three years. She also served on the church council, taught Sunday School, was active in stewardship efforts and volunteered her time on the funeral dinner committee.
She also was a 4-H leader, Home Respite Care volunteer and practiced the gift of hospitality to all. She will be fondly remembered for her strong Christian faith, unending devotion to family and always being available to help anyone. After 55 years of married life, her husband, Harold preceded her in death on Aug. 25, 1998. On June 3, 2000 she married Carl Milchner and they enjoyed nine years until his death on Feb. 14, 2009.
Survivors are eight children, Gloria (Lloyd) Barth of East Peoria, Ill., Ken (Mary Tisch) Hardtke of Rhinelander, Judy (Norman "Bud") Block of Jackson, Joyce Smies of Oostburg, Connie (Mark) Hohne of Oconto, Phyllis (Gary) Logan, Carol Hardtke and Joanne Hardtke, all of Milwaukee; 16 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Olga and Chris Deckert, Erich and Belva Milchner, all of Oconto Falls, Viola Hardtke of Green Bay and Ray Wentland of Florida and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Besides her parents and husbands she was also preceded in death by two brothers, Norm (Lois) and Milton (Virginia) Exferd; a sister, Elizabeth "Liz" (Bill) Kane; a grandson, Ronald Block; a son-in-law, Ronald Smies and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.
Visitation was held on Monday, July 29 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Jones Funeral Service in Oconto Falls. Visitation continued at St. John's Lutheran Church in Gillett after 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 30 until time of service at 10:30 a.m. at the church with Dr. W. H. Winkler officiating. Burial followed in Woodlawn Cemetery, Oconto Falls.