Thomas Gehrke, 77, of Phillips passed away at his home on Saturday, March 5, 2022, surrounded by his family after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born on May 5, 1944, to Paul and Annette (Lochner) Gehrke in Manitowoc, WI.
Tom lived in Schofield, WI while growing up and graduated from DC Everest in 1963. In 1965, he married Merceda (Ceda) Aldridge. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1969 with a comprehensive major in Pharmacy. In August 1973, after spending a few years working in various pharmacies around the state, Tom and Ceda purchased Lakeview Pharmacy and moved their young family to the area. Although many of Tom’s hours were spent working at the pharmacy, he found time to be active in the Phillips community. He served one term on the Phillips School Board, was a member of the Phillips Chamber of Commerce, was a member of the Ann Marie Foundation and coached many local children in Little League.
Tom enjoyed the outdoors and spent much of his time hunting and fishing. He made many hunting trips to Wyoming, Colorado and North Dakota and fishing trips around the state and Canada often with his son, Tim. He was also an avid skier, biker, and was proud of his ability to continue to compete in athletic events even after he turned 70. He was traditionally a participant in the Phillips Chain of Lakes Triathlon and in 2019, he completed his 40th American Birkiebeiner race. His free hours were spent at the woods; wood splitting, gardening, maple syrup making or just riding on his tractor.
All who knew Tom, knew how very important his family was to him. He will be greatly missed by his wife of 57 years Merceda; son, Tim (Kim); daughter, Angie (Flett) Peshtigo; grandsons, Aaron and Seth; granddaughter, Cassie Flett; and siblings, Paul of Mosinee, Jim (Kay) of Rhinelander, and Kathleen of Stevens Point. He is preceded in death by his parents.
There will be no services at this time. Heindl-Nimsgern Funeral Home is assisting the family.