Lavern "Vern" Calvin Stepke, 92, of Traverse City, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018 at Traverse Victorian Senior Living. Vern was born on Jan. 11, 1926 in Detroit to the late Herbert and Alice (Whiting) Stepke.
He married the love of his life, Ida Harchis, on Sept. 6, 1946. She preceded him in death on Oct. 24, 2016.
Vern proudly served his country in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II. He had been employed as a tool engineer with Chrysler Motor Company, retiring in 1985 after over 30 years of service.
Vern was a member of St. Michael Lutheran Church in Traverse City. He also was a member of American Post 35.
He enjoyed traveling and working on his cottage on Torch Lake.
Lavern is survived his two sons, Lawrence (Susan) Stepke and David (Lynn) Stepke. Also surviving are grandchildren, Jason, Katherine, David, Danae, Charles, Joshua and Dana; as well as 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Wilfred Stepke; and two half-brothers, Carl Ludwig and Harold Ludwig.
In accordance with Lavern's wishes, cremation has taken place.
A memorial service honoring Lavern will take place at 11 a.m., with visitation starting at 10 a.m., on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at St. Michael's Lutheran Church, 912 S. Garfield Road, Traverse City, MI 49686. Pastor James Nihiser will officiate. Military honors will be conducted under the auspices of American Legion Post 35 and Cherryland VFW Post 2780.
Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider a memorial donation to St. Michael's Lutheran Church or the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories with Vern's family at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on February 25, 2018