DeForest E. Ihrke of Caro, age 79, passed away on Friday, March 24, 2017 at the Tuscola County Medical Care Community in Caro. De was born February 14, 1938 in Mayville, the son of the late Orville and Relva (Wells) Ihrke. He graduated from Mayville High School with the class of 1956 and enlisted with the United States Marine Corps that same year, serving for two years as a clerk. Upon his honorable discharge from the Marines, De went to work as a milk truck driver for his brother Ernie’s dairy company, Twin Pines. He followed his brother to London Dairy as a truck driver in Port Huron, Burton and Grayling, and retired from Country Fresh after a career that spanned more than 35 years. De loved to drive, and spent retirement years as a car shuttle for Moore Motors in Caro, traveling across the state and country. He will be remembered as a good-natured man who loved life and had a natural ability to make those around him happy. His mischief could be seen in his eyes, and no one was ever sure what would come out of his mouth next. De loved to hunt, play cards, and bowled on several leagues in his younger years. He was also a devoted member of the Caro Moose Lodge.
De is survived by his wife, Edie Fields-Ihrke of Caro; four children and their spouses, Debby and James Draper of Oscoda, Susan and Robert Stephen of Mayville, Maria and Wayne Corlis of Midland, Todd Ihrke of Flint; two step-children, Kathy Lyn Rebh and Tim Bruce of Rockford, Jeffery and Robin Fields of Clarkston; 21 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; special sister-in-law, Diane Predmore of Walled Lake; devoted friend, Paul Burkel of Caro; many nieces and nephews; and his beloved bulldog, Brutus. In addition to his parents, De was preceded in death by a grandson, Caleb Rebh; great-grandson, Robert Stephen, Jr.; siblings, Dorothy Ihrke, Robert Ihrke, Leona Huntley and Ernie Ihrke.
Funeral services were held at noon on Monday, March 27, 2017 at the Ransford Collon Funeral Home in Caro with Rev. Ronald C. Wigand officiating. The family was present to receive friends at the funeral home on Monday from 10 a.m. until the time of the service at noon. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorial contributions to the Ihrke Family Discretionary Fund, c/o Edie Fields-Ihrke, 205 West Sherman Street, Caro, MI 48723. The family was assisted with these arrangements by the Ransford Collon Funeral Home of Caro. Friends may share memories, thoughts and prayers online at www.RansfordCollon.com.