Larry Duane Bielke

PORTAGE – Larry Duane Bielke, 79, of Portage, was called home to be with the Lord on January 27, 2024, in Madison, WI. He was born on April 17, 1944, in Portage, to Ronald and Marjorie (Sheils) Bielke.

Larry, known for his kind and patient nature, was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He is survived by his loving wife, Mary (Vanderhoof) Bielke, and their children Heather (Brent) Buchholtz, Lia, and little Larry. Larry was a proud grandfather to Kayla (Nick), Nathan, Amber, Matthew, and Kloe, and great-grandfather to Evelyn; in-laws, Bill (Betty) Vanderhoof, Donna (John) Kudlas, (Betty Vanderhoof), and Linda Thayer; many nieces, nephews and friends. He is also survived by his special dog, “Charlie”. He was preceded in death by his grandson, Nicholas Buchholtz, his father, Ronald Bielke, his mother, Marjorie Bielke, his father-in-law, Bernard (Speck) Vanderhoof, mother-in-law, Delores (Doey) Vanderhoof, his sister, Beverly Hutzler, and his brothers-in-law, Jeff Thayer, Kermit Hutzler, & Bernie Vanderhoof.

Larry served his country with honor and dedication as a member of the Navy from 1967 to 1971.  On April 22, 1967, he was united in marriage to Mary Ann Vanderhoof in Mauston, Wisconsin.  After being discharged from the Navy, he began a successful career at Oscar Mayer, where he worked for 34 years.

In his free time, Larry enjoyed pursuing his hobbies. He had a passion for fishing and could often be found on his pontoon boat, taking people for rides and enjoying the serenity of the lake. Larry also found joy in working on projects with his son and spending time with his men's group at Barnes Community Church. He was skilled in woodworking and took pride in remodeling his home. Larry was a devoted family man and cherished attending his grandchildren's various sporting and school events. He especially loved watching his son play football.

Larry found solace and comfort in his faith. He worshipped at Grace Bible Church in Portage, Wisconsin and Barnes Community Church in Barnes, Wisconsin.

Larry Duane Bielke will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all who had the privilege of knowing him. His kindness, soft-spoken nature, wisdom, and sense of humor will forever be remembered. May he rest in eternal peace.

 Memorial services will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, February 2, 2024, at Grace Bible Church, with Pastor Jeremy Edmondson officiating. Military honors will follow at the church, provided by Portage Area Veterans Honor Guard.  Graveside services will be at a later date in Pardeeville Cemetery. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. on Friday at the church.

Pflanz Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage is assisting the family.