Ed Gatke, 80, of Fort Wayne, passed away on Wednesday, September 25, 2019, at Visiting Nurse and Hospice Home in Fort Wayne.

He was born Feb. 7, 1939, in Warsaw, to Donald E. Gatke and Lucille A. Andruss Gatke. He married Betty Licking on Sept. 27, 1986, in Raleigh, N.C.

Ed served in the Indiana Army National Guard.

He attended Brookside Church in Fort Wayne. Ed had served as a deacon in several churches and also in Christian education programs. He was also a member of the Kiwanis Club in Lafayette.

Ed enjoyed riding motorcycles and was actively involved in helping with Parkinson’s Disease through Rock Steady Boxing. He loved to travel and enjoyed athletics, including running track and cross country at Wheaton College. He also enjoyed golf, bowling, tennis and hiking.

A 1957 graduate of Warsaw High School, he then received a bachelor’s in sociology from Wheaton College and his master’s in social work from Indiana University. 

Ed retired as the director of Park Center in Decatur and had previously worked as director at Park Center in Bluffton. He had also worked as the director of Cary Children’s Home in Lafayette. He started United Stand for Children and Youth, which did broad-based work to intervene with troubled families that were referred to them by the courts.

He is survived by his wife, Betty Gatke of Fort Wayne; daughters, Ingrid (Kurt) Kipfer of Carmel and Dawn Gatke of Fort Wayne; brother, Thomas (Connie) Gatke of Westport; granddaughters, Rori Kipfer of Carmel and Casey Gatke of Fort Wayne; stepson, Doug (Kerri) Frantz of Broomfield, Co.; stepdaughter, Sara (Rick) Peterson of Avon; step-grandchildren, Rylan and Elise of Broomfield, Co. and Evan and Alyssa Peterson of Avon.

Ed was preceded in death by four brothers, Dennis, Peter, Greg “Skipper” and Curt Gatke.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Zwick & Jahn Funeral Home in Decatur with Life Celebrant Dave McIntire officiating. Family and friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, in the Zwick & Jahn Funeral Home in Decatur and one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials can be made to Rock Steady Boxing through Lutheran Life Villages in Fort Wayne or the Jesus Film Project through Campus Crusade for Christ.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Zwick & Jahn Funeral Homes – Decatur.