Virgil Denk

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 1:38 pm

Virgil Denk, 97, of Decorah, died Thursday, June 18, 2015, at the Patty Elwood Center in Cresco. Mass of Christian Burial was at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 24, at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Decorah, with Rev. Phillip Gibbs and Monsignor Edward Lechtenberg officiating. Organist was Mary Beth Bouska. Cantor was Cindy Schissel. Hymns were “Softly and Tenderly,” “Here I am, Lord,” “Prayer of St. Francis,” “Lord, I am Not Worthy,” “Ave Maria” and “How Great Thou Art.” Lector was Randy Schissel. Offertory gift bearers were Maddison Waddell, Lexie Hauber and Lydia Ihde. Casket bearers were Dan Denk, Jim Denk, Randy Schissel, Scott Ihde, Michael Hovden and Tom Hauber. Interment was at St. Benedict’s Catholic Cemetery in Decorah. Arrangements were handled by Schluter – Balik Funeral Home in Decorah.

Virgil Claude Denk was born June 5, 1918, the son of William and Mary (Gintner) Denk in Greenwood, Wis. Virgil attended St. Mary’s Catholic School in Greenwood, Wis. Virgil worked at Perkyll John Deere Implement in Marshfield, Wis., along with laying flooring and doing carpentry work. He was united in marriage to Geraldine Smith April 25, 1942, in Humbird, Wis., and to this marriage four children were born. In 1950, they moved to Alma Center, Wis., where Virgil worked for R. H. Hershell Manufacturing. In 1962, they moved to Decorah, where he worked as the territory manager for New Idea farm equipment, and he retired in 1980. Virgil enjoyed golfing, fixing things as well as woodworking. In 1992, he made a grandfather clock for all of his children and made several things for the grandchildren over the years. He made several items for St. Benedict Church, including the cabinet for the holy oil. Virgil enjoyed playing with his family in their family band, which was first the HepCat and 3 Toms and then later the 4 D’s. They played at Matter’s and Nob Hill and various places in the area. Virgil also was a member of the Barbershop Chorus in Decorah. He and Gerry enjoyed going to their cottage on Sand Lake in New Auburn, Wis. with their families for many years. Virgil was a member of St. Benedict Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. Virgil was also known for his keen sense of humor.

Virgil is survived by his four children: Robert (Eunice) Denk, Decorah; Judy (Gary) Hovden, Ridgeway,; Don Denk, Waukon and Rick Denk, St. Cloud, Minn.; ten grandchildren: Randy (Cindy) Schissel, Cindy Maxa, Jim (Kayla) Denk, Michael (Nancy) Hovden, Michelle (Scott) Ihde, Nancy (Tom) Hauber, Tammy (Andy) Avery, Jill (Roy) Reyes, Sandra (Randy) Koshatka and Dan Denk; 24 great-grandchildren: Jennifer (Wade) Waddell, Samantha (Bobby) Friederick, John and Matthew Schissel, Tyler and Kaitlin Maxa, Mackenzie and Collin Denk, Elizabeth, Anna and Adam Hovden, Morgan, Madison, Laiton and Lydia Ihde, Logan and Lexie Hauber, Nicole (Dan) Willis, Bryce and Nathan Avery, Austin Reyes, Chelsey, Addison and Dawson Koshatka; six great-great-grandchildren: Maddison and Adam Waddell, Emery and Parker Friederick, Bentley and Brylee Willis; brothers: Jack (Shirley) Denk and Ron (Mary Jo) Denk, both of Milwaukee, Wis.; two sisters-in-law, Marcia Denk and Bev Denk, both of Greenwood, Wis.; one sister-in-law, Shelby Jean (Ron) Parks, Marshfield, Wis.; along with many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and -nephews.  

Virgil was preceded in death by his parents, William and Mary (Gintner) Denk; his wife, Geraldine Denk, Jan. 8, 2006; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Walter and Edith (Chambers) Smith; one daughter-in-law, Gayla (Olson) Denk; one great-granddaughter, Courtney Reyes; Virgil’s siblings and spouses: Mayme (Archie) Lyon, Dorothy (Vic) Wagner, Leonard (Mary) Denk, Jerry (Annie) Denk, Don (Margie) Denk, William “Bud” Denk and Bernie Denk; Gerry’s two brothers and spouses: Vernon (Helen) Smith and Bob (Leny) Smith. 


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