Gary L. Dahlke

MARQUETTE, MI – Gary Lee Dahlke, age 81, retired Marquette businessman, entered eternal life Monday afternoon, March 23, 2020, at the Norlite Nursing Center, in the loving care of his family.

Born May 21, 1938, in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, a son of Clayton E. and Margaret B. (Heye) Dahlke, Gary’s family moved to Marquette in 1946. He graduated from Graveraet High School. In 1952, a representative of U-Haul visited the family gas station run by Gary’s father, brother, John Dahlke, and cousin, Jim Reetz. Gary was just a teenager when the family added U-Haul rentals to their gas station business. In business with U-Haul only three weeks, Gary’s father made him manager with the stipulation he had to do all the weekly reports. The venture paid off with the deal paying his college tuition with the money he made handling the U-Haul side of the business. His schooling included Northern Michigan University and continued with Western Michigan University from where he earned his Bachelors Degree in Marketing. Every weekend he returned home to fill out the weekly reports. Upon receiving his degree, Gary returned home to work in the family dealership. With the retirement of his father, brother, and cousin, Gary assumed ownership of the dealership and oil company in the late 1970’s, a business he successfully operated until his own retirement in 2004.

Throughout the years, Gary kept actively involved in the community, giving back to the community whenever possible. In his leisure, he enjoyed time spent with family, coin collecting, genealogy, and stamp collecting. He was a member of the American Numismatic Association, Commemorative Air Force Association, American Philatelic Society, Palatines to America, Marquette County Genealogy Society, and Marquette Range Engineers. Gary was a member of Messiah Lutheran Church.

Gary is survived by his children, Stephen L. (Mary) Dahlke of Farmington, MN, Gary L. Dahlkie of Sault Ste. Marie, MI, Kristin Dahlke of Kansas City, KS, Richard N. (Barbara) Ellingsen of Marquette, Mary (Rich Uren) Ellingsen of Marquette and Charles F. (Ann) Ellingsen of Marquette; 25 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren; his brother, John E. (Susi) Dahlke of Champion; five nieces and nephews; his special friend and significant other, Rose A. Moratti and her daughters, Julieanne (Michael) Greene, Deborah (Stephen) Wissler, Natalie (Robert) Martin, Michelle (Brian) Poynter, and Mary Moratti. Gary was preceded in death by his parents and wife, Constance “Connie” (Flanigan) Dahlke whom he married in 1970.

Arrangements for services at a later date will be announced.

Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral and Cremation Services is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at fassbenderswansonhansen.com