Memorial services are pending for Andrew Gatzke, 80, of Cortez. Mr. Gatzke passed away Sept. 20, 2001, at the Vista Grande Rehabilitation Care Center.
He was born to Michael and Alice Milliken Gatzke on Aug. 5, 1921, in Milford, Pa. He graduated from the Milford High School in 1939.
Mr. Gatzke served his country during World War II in the U.S. Marine Corps, into which he enlisted in 1941. He was a gunnery sergeant, and served 36 months in the South Pacific with the First Marine Raider Battalion.
He was awarded a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts for his heroic actions in service of his country. He was honorably discharged at the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, Calif. in 1946. On Nov. 16, 1946, he married Maybelle Crawn, in Horseheads, N.Y. Mr. Gatzke retired as a supervisor with General Telephone Company, working in the Tri-state area of New York. He lived in Montclaire, Calif., before moving to Cortez 25 years ago.
Mr. Gatzke was a charter member of the Mt. Laurel VFW Post 8612 of Milford; the American Legion Ute Mountain Post No. 75 of Cortez; the Brixey-Hays Detachment Marine Corps League of Cortez; the Disabled American Veterans; the Four Corners Good Samaritans Club, where he was a former president; and a former member of the Elks Club of Cortez.
Andrew Gatzke is survived by his wife of 55 years, Maybelle, of Cortez; sons, Andrew (Wendy) Gatzke of Cortez; Robert R. (Mary) Bennett III of San Bernadino, Calif.; brother, Allen Gatzke of Milford; sister, Ann Van Twerp of Milford; four grandchildren, six step-grandchildren; three great-grandchildren and eight step-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Michael and William; sisters, Judy and Carie and several nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to For Pet”s Sake, P.O. Box 1703, Cortez, CO 81321; Noah”s Ark Animal Shelter, 14929 County Road G, Cortez, CO 81321, or to the Cortez Animal Shelter, 27516 Highway 160, Cortez, CO 81321.
Cortez Four Corners Funeral Chapel, Hale and Gerken, are serving the family.