Mernabelle (Mernie) Behnke

Mernabelle “Mernie” Behnke, age 83, of Waterford WI, formerly of Reedsville, died on Friday, January 6, 2012, at Waterford Sr. Living. She was born on December 12, 1928 in the Town of Brillion, daughter of the late Theodore J. & Elsie (Riemer) Lau.  She married Francis Polifka on December 25, 1949. He preceded her in death in 2007. On October 30, 1976, Mernabelle married Lester H. Behnke at St. John St. James Lutheran Church in Reedsville. He preceded her in death in 2002. Mernabelle worked for various businesses in the area for 17 years, including Geiger’s Restaurarant and the Ariens Co. in both in Brillion. She was a member of St. John St. James Lutheran Church in Reedsville and the Ladies Aid. She loved spending time with her children, grandchildren, and extended family. She also enjoyed doing various craft projects. Survivors include her children; Roger (Kathy) Polifka of Bremerton, WA, Rozanne (Timothy) Bird of Burlington, Steve Polifka of Milwaukee,  John Polifka of Greeley, CO, Judy Polifka of Chicago,  4 grandchildren; Traci Polifka, Brian (Anna) Polifka, Laura (Chris) Schoeneck, Nathan Bird, 2 great grandchildren; Christopher Polifka and Avery Schoeneck, 7  step children; Joanne (Roger) Fischer of Appleton, Dianne (Jerome) Witkowski of Ripon, Suzanne (Ray) Bubolz of Reedsville, Rozanne (Ralph) Bohrtz of Greenleaf, Julianne (Scott) Free of Manitowoc, Luanne (Jeff) Gast of Wisconsin Rapids, Lorianne (Tom) Holdcroft of Greenville, and numerous step grandchildren and step great grandchildren, 2 sisters; SeVera Lau of Milwaukee, Violet (Jerold) Havel of Appleton, a brother; Waldemar Lau of Sherwood, and many other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husbands, a step grandson Jordan Free, 3 brothers, Private Elroy Lau, Wallace Lau, Wilbert Lau, and 2 sisters Evelyn Behm and Alice Hernke.   Funeral service will be held on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 11 00 a.m. at St. John St. James Lutheran Church in Reedsville. The Rev. Timothy Nommensen will officiate. Burial will take place in the Westside Cemetery. Friends may call at the church on Thursday from 9 00 a.m. until the time of service. A memorial fund has been established in Mernabelle’s name.  The Wieting Funeral Home in Reedsville is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made

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