Ralph (Buck) Oscar Klenke


Ralph (Buck) Oscar Klenke passed away November 18, 2021.

KLENKE—Ralph (Buck) Oscar Klenke passed away November 18, 2021 at the age of 96. He had been a resident at Shorewood Senior Living in Florence, Ore., for over 9 years. 

Buck was born on December 25, 1924, in Allenville, Wis. He grew up on his family’s farm there.

Buck graduated from the eighth grade and, after graduation, he worked a short period of time on the farm. He was then employed at a screw manufacturing plant in Neenah, Wis., for about three years. His job supported the World War II effort with screws utilized in the aircraft industry. 

In 1945, at age 21, Buck opened a single-stall auto repair garage in Neenah. It wasn’t long before he added a second stall. 

The years between 1945 and 1951, Buck enjoyed riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle with his buddies and made several trips, one being to Arizona and visiting the Grand Canyon. He made several friendships in those years that lasted all their lives. He spoke often of those years.

Buck sold his motorcycle and, on May 5, 1951, he married Frances Adler from Neenah, where they made their home. In 1960, they adopted an infant son, William (Billy), and in 1962 they adopted another child, an infant daughter, Anne Marie. 

After a few years, Buck added two more stalls to his garage and was enjoying the growing business.

Buck looked forward to hunting and fishing most of his life. He purchased several acres of land in northern Wisconsin near the town of Florence, where he had a cabin. For many years he enjoyed harvesting deer and bear with his archery long bow. He nearly always filled his grouse hunting tag.

The local lakes offered good fishing opportunities for crappie, perch and bass. He cherished the times he spent up at his cabin with family and friends; great memories. 

Buck sold his garage in Neenah and moved the family to Florence, Ore., in 1979. They built a new home at Portage on the North Fork of the Siuslaw River. He worked for Berg Chevrolet in Florence for 10 years until he retired. A few years later, he sold the house on the North Fork and moved to town.

Preceding him in death was his wife, Fran, who passed away February 6, 2005, following 54 years of marriage. Also, his father, Ray; his mother, Irene; his older brother, Stanley; a younger brother, Orville; another younger brother, Paul; and his son, Billy. 

He is survived by his daughter, Anne Marie Powers, who lives with her husband in Woodburn, Ore. He leaves behind four grandchildren as well. 

At the request of the family, there will be no service. Burn’s Riverside Chapel in Florence is in charge of his cremation. His request to have his ashes scattered in northern Wisconsin near his hunting cabin will be honored this coming late spring or early summer. 

 

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