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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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September 25, 2021

6/18/2021 5:28:00 AM
Leonard "Len" B. Pehlke

Leonard 'Len' B. Pehlke, 89, passed away Saturday, June 12, 2021 at his residence. Len was born on June 10, 1932, in Marathon County, son of the late Albert and Anna (Postler) Pehlke. He was a graduate of Readstown High School and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. Following four years of active duty, Len served four years in the Navy Reserve before receiving his Honorable Discharge. On Dec. 28, 1957 he married Jane (Langbecker) in Merrill. Len began his employment with Wisconsin Public Service in 1956 as a distribution clerk. He was promoted to a supervisor position in 1964. In 1968, Len became the gas and electric superintendent at Rhinelander until 1971 when he was transferred to Green Bay as electric superintendent. In 1974, Len returned to Rhinelander as division manager; a position he held until his retirement in 1994. While in Rhinelander, Len was active at Zion Ev. Lutheran Church where he served as an usher, served 12 years on the council and was president of the congregation for six of those years.

While at Woodruff, he served as an usher at Trinity Lutheran Church. In addition to his church work, Len was active in the United Way, having worked with the initial Rhinelander group to get it started and chaired fund-raising committees for many years. He served on the St. Mary's Sacred Heart Hospital board for nine years and chaired the organization for four of those years. Len served on the St. Mary's Hospital Foundation and assisted his old friend Larry Springer in fund raising efforts for the hospital. Len also belonged to the Rhinelander Rotary for 26 years and served as president and secretary of the club. Len was presented with the Paul Harris Award for his community service. He was a charter member of the Oneida County Economic Development Corp. and served on the board for many years, during which time he held the office of secretary and president.

During Len's retirement years he enjoyed gardening, golfing, listening to German polkas on Sundays after church, watching the Green Bay Packers and spending time with his family. Len is survived by his loving wife, Jane; his three children, Rene Kluth, Stacie (Timothy) Lambele, Brian (Kim) Pehlke; four grandchildren, Kelsi (Mitchell) Polk, Kayla Kluth, Tim 'T.J.' and Benjamin Lambele; great-grandson Baby Polk is due in July; step-grandson Nick (Maddie) Belter, step-great-granddaughters, Emma, Ellie and Emri Belter; one sister, Laura Lee, two sisters-in-law, Lucille Pehlke and Marcella Voigt, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends also survive.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and eight brothers, Arlie, Arnold, Gilbert, Gordon, Milton, Norman, Orie and Rueben and half-sister Frances. Visitation for Len will be held on Thursday, June 17, 2021 at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, 2160 Packerland Dr. from 9 a.m. until the time of service at 11 a.m. Officiating at the service will be Rev. Leon Ehlert with burial to follow at Ft. Howard Memorial Park.

Expressions of sympathy, memories and photos may be shared with Len's family on his tribute page at

Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2021
Article comment by: William rodd

too bad, so sad my sincesest condlences to his many friends and family love bill rodd

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