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The Gerken-Larson Heritage:
The 19th and 20th Centuries
A Family History

Herman Gerken (1819-1875)
Henry Gerken (1855-1914)
Ewald Gerken (1895-1956)
Joan (Gerken) Larson (1926-1994)
Thomas Larson (1962-)

Researched and written by
Tom Larson

Margaret "Maggie" (Kerkhoff) Noethe (1879-1969) was a daughter of Herman and Mary (Gerken) Kerkhoff. Maggie married George Noethe, and they farmed at Patch Grove, Wisconsin. Maggie was a niece of my great-grandfather Henry Gerken and a first cousin to my grandfather Ewald Gerken.    T.L.

George and Margaret "Maggie" (Kerkhoff) Noethe

George and Margaret (Kerkhoff) Noethe on wedding day, attended by Henry Gerken and Rose Kerkhoff.
Margaret M. Kerkhoff was born on January 6, 1879, at Petersburg, Iowa, the second of five children born to Herman and Mary (Gerken) Kerkhoff. Margaret's brothers and sisters were Anna, Alphonse, Rosa, and Louise.

Maggie Kerkhoff marries George Noethe.
The marriage of Miss Margaret Kerkhoff to Mr. Gerhard Noethe took place in SS. Peter and Paul's church at Petersburg at 8 o'clock, Tuesday morning, May 28, 1907. The nuptial ceremonies were performed the Rev. William sassen. Quite a number of relatives and friends were present in the church. The attendants were Miss Rosa Kerkhoff, sister of the bride, as bridesmaid, and Henry Gerken was groomsmen. The bride's gown was of white silk. She also wore a veil. The maid was attired in a gown of white cassimere.

The bride is a daughter of Mrs. Herman Kerkhoff of Petersburg, where she has resided since childhood. She is well known in that vicinity, and by her pleasant disposition and many womanly traits, she has won the esteem of her friends. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Noethe, of Magnolia, Minnesota. He is an industrious young man and has many friends here.

A reception was held at the home of the bride's mother during the day, which was attended by a large number of invited guests. The bride and groom were the recipients of many costly presents as tokens of esteem. They will go to housekeeping on a farm at New Vienna. The Commercial joins their friends in extending best wishes.

Gerhard "George" John Noethe was born on November 9, 1873, in Iowa, son of William and Anna Margareth (Sudmeier) Noethe. William and Anna Noethe lived in Bremen Township, Delaware County, Iowa, before moving to Westside Township, Nobles County, Minnesota, circa 1888. George Noethe returned to Bremen Township, where in 1900, he was working as a farm laborer for John and Mary Bockenstedt.

In 1910, George and Margaret Noethe were living in North Fork Township, Delaware County, Iowa, where the family farmed. Circa 1914, the family moved to Patch Grove, in Grant County, Wisconsin, where they farmed. The Noethe family were members of St. John's Catholic Church at Patch Grove. George and Margaret Noethe had six children, Alvin Noethe, Estelle Noethe, Edward Noethe, Stasia Noethe, Marie Noethe, and Lavern Noethe.

George Noethe dies.
George J. Noethe, 89, of Patch Grove, Wisconsin, died on May 7, 1963, at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, and was buried in St. John's Cemetery at Patch Grove, Wisconsin.

Maggie Noethe lived at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, in a nursing home the last two years of her life. Although she did not like the idea of going to the nursing home, she came to appreciate it as her roommate was a distant cousin from Iowa and she was able to play cards almost whenever she wanted.

Margaret "Maggie" (Kerkhoff) Noethe dies.
Mrs. Margaret Noethe, 90, of Patch Grove, Wis., died Saturday, February 22, 1969, at a Prairie du Chien hospital. Friends called at the Metcalfe-Kuenster Funeral Home in Bloomington, Wisconsin, after 2 p.m., Sunday, February 23, with the parish Rosary being said at 4 p.m. Funeral services for Mrs. Noethe were held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, February 24, at St. John's Catholic Church in Patch Grove, and she was laid to rest beside her husband in St. John's Cemetery at Patch Grove, where they have a very nice resting place that overlooks the farmhouse in which they had lived.

Children of George and Margaret "Maggie" (Kerkhoff) Noethe:

  1. Alvin W. Noethe was born on May 14, 1908, in Petersburg, Iowa, son of George and Margaret (Kerkhoff) Noethe. Alvin married Martha C. Leamy on November 26, 1938, in Bloomington, Wisconsin. Martha Leamy was born on January 11, 1913, in Wisconsin, daughter of Daniel and Laura (Zenz) Leamy, of Bloomington, Grant County, Wisconsin.
          Alvin and Martha Noethe lived for many years in Waukesha, Wisconsin, before moving to St. James City, Florida, in late 1980. Alvin Noethe was a truck driver and had owned his own trucking firm.

    Martha Noethe died on February 23, 1982. She was buried in St. John's Cemetery at Patch Grove, Wisconsin.

    Alvin Noethe subsequently married Patricia M. "Pat" (Leamy) Lewis on May 14, 1983. Patricia Leamy was born on March 16, 1910, and was Martha's sister. She had been married previously.

    Alvin W. Noethe, 82, of St. James City, Florida, and formerly of Patch Grove, Wisconsin, died on June 28, 1990, at Fort Myers, Florida. He was buried in St. John's Cemetery at Patch Grove, Wisconsin.
          Mr. Noethe was survived by his wife Pat; a stepdaughter, Mrs. Ken (Lynette) Smith, and a stepson, Larry Lewis, both of Los Angeles; two sisters, Mrs. Tim (Estelle) Kelly of Chicago and Mrs. John (Marie) Graf of Palatine, Ill.; and a brother, Lavern of Prairie du Chien, Wis.

    Patricia Lewis Noethe died on June 19, 1993, with a last residence of Mission Hills, California.

  2. Estelle Marie Noethe was born on February 22, 1910, daughter of George and Margaret (Kerkhoff) Noethe. She was a graduate of St. Bernard's School of Nursing. Estella "Stella" Noethe married Timothy F. Kelly. Timothy Kelly was born on October 20, 1903, in Feakle, County Clare, Ireland. Timothy and Stella Kelly resided at Chicago, Illinois, and they had ten children, Mary Margaret Kelly, Timothy Kelly, Patricia Kelly, Nancy Kelly, James Joseph Kelly, Rita Kelly, Sheila Kelly, Jane Kelly, George Kelly, and Noreen Kelly. James died on January 1, 1968, and George died in 1980 at age 28.

    Timothy F. Kelly, 91, died on Saturday, June 10, 1995, at Hazel Crest, Illinois. He was buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery at Worth, Illinois, in Cook County. His widow Estelle later resided in a retirement home at Lemont, Illinois.

    Estelle (Noethe) Kelly, R.N., 93, died on Wednesday, November 12, 2003. Visitation was on Friday, November 14, from 2 to 10 p.m. at Donnellan Funeral Home in Chicago, Illinois. Funeral services were held at 10 a.m., Saturday, November 13, at St. Barnabas Church in Chicago with interment in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
          Estelle Kelly was the beloved wife of the late Timothy F. Kelly, loving mother of Mary Margaret, Timothy, Patricia, Nancy (John) Aitken, Rita (Ted) Marshall, Sheila (Steve) Young, Jane (Don) Grimaldi, Noreen Kelly-Chompff (Louis), the late James and the late George; fond grandmother of 16, great-grandmother of 9, and great-great-grandmother of 1; dear sister of Marie Graf; and special aunt to many nieces and nephews. Her faith, courage, and devotion to her family has been an inspiration and remain her legacy.

  3. Edward H. Noethe was born on June 30, 1912, son of George and Margaret (Kerkhoff) Noethe. Edward Noethe married Alice M. Nies on May 5, 1936, at St. John's Catholic Church in Patch Grove, Wisconsin. Alice Nies was born on July 2, 1916, to Matt and Catherine (McDermott) Nies in Patch Grove Township, Wisconsin. Edward and Alice Noethe farmed in the Patch Grove area for many years and were members of St. John's Catholic Church in Patch Grove. Alice Noethe was very talented in crafts and especially enjoyed knitting and crocheting. She was a member of St. John's Altar Society and the Patch Grove Parent Teacher Association. Edward and Alice Noethe had six children, James Noethe, Gerald M. Noethe, Patrick Noethe, Michael Noethe, Kathy Noethe, and Thomas Noethe.

    Edward H. Noethe, of Patch Grove, Wisconsin, died Friday morning, September 5, 1975. He was buried in St. John's Cemetery at Patch Grove.
          Mr. Noethe was survived by his wife, Alice; four sons, James Noethe, of Princeton, Ill., Patrick Noethe, of Jefferson, Wis., Mike Noethe, of rural Prairie du Chien, Wis., and Tom Noethe, at home; a daughter, Mrs. Walter (Kathy) Horsfall, of Patch Grove, Wis.; two brothers, Alvin Noethe of Waukesha, Wis., and Lavern Noethe, of Prairie du Chien, Wis.; and three sisters, Mrs. Tim (Estelle) Kelly of Chicago, Ill., Mrs. Bob (Stasia) Lyons of Westchester, Ill., and Mrs. John (Marie) Graf of Palatine, Ill.

    Alice M. Noethe, 84, of Patch Grove, Wisconsin, died Sunday, January 14, 2001, at Memorial Nursing Home in Boscobel, Wisconsin. Services were at noon Wednesday, January 17, at St. John's Catholic Church in Patch Grove, with the Rev. Steven Steele officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery. Family and friends called from 10 to 11:45 a.m. Wednesday at Metcalfe-Kuenster-Page Funeral Home in Bloomington, Wisconsin.
          Mrs. Noethe was survived by five children, James (Nancy) Noethe, of Princeton, Ill., Patrick (Susan) Noethe, of Lake Mills, Wis., Michael (Kathy) Noethe, of Patch Grove, Wis., Kathy (Walter) Horsfall, of Evanston, Wyo., and Thomas (Debra) Noethe, of St. Bonifacius, Minn.; 14 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; four sisters, Lucille Donlan, of San Rafael, Calif.; Phyllis (John) Bernhardt, of Cassville, Wis., Bernadine (Ed) Stroeder, of Wisconsin Dells, Wis., and Eileen (Gib) Kruser, of Kieler, Wis.; two brothers, Max (Florentine) Nies, of Patch Grove, Wis., and Lawrence (Madonna) Nies, of Onalaska, Wis.; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward, on September 5, 1975; an infant son, Gerald; her parents; three sisters, Mae Knautz, Patricia Breuer, Marcella Trimble; and a brother, Robert Nies.

    • Michael R. Noethe was born on December 22, 1944, in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, son of Edward and Alice (Nies) Noethe. Michael Noethe married Kathleen A. Koschkee on August 20, 1966, at St. Lawrence O’Toole Catholic Church in Mt. Hope, Wisconsin.
            Mike began farming at an early age on the family farm and retired in 2006. After his retirement, he enjoyed working with his son in a custom harvesting business. He was highly regarded by all who knew him. His greatest joys in life were his family, especially his grandchildren. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, and having a good time.

      Michael R. Noethe, 68, of Patch Grove, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at home. Funeral services were held on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at 10:00 a.m., at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bloomington, Wisconsin, with Father John Meinholz officiating. Burial was in St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Patch Grove Township. Family and friends called on Tuesday, March 12, from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bloomington and on Wednesday, March 13, from 9:00 a.m. until time of services at the church. Martin Funeral Home in Bloomington assisted the family.
            He was survived by his wife, Kathy, of Patch Grove, Wis.; a daughter, Kelli (Al) Kruser, of Oregon, Wis.; a son, Michael Jr. (Paula) Noethe, of Bagley, Wis.; and his five beloved grandchildren, Christopher, Zachary, and McKayla Noethe and Claire and Caiden Kruser; a sister, Cathy (Walt) Horsfall, of Harpers Ferry, Ia.; three brothers, Jim (Nancy) Noethe, of Princeton, Ill., Pat (Susan) Noethe, of Lake Mills, Wis., and Tom (Deb) Noethe, of St. Bonafacius, Minn.; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant brother, Gerald.

  4. Stasia Noethe was born on October 21, 1914, daughter of George and Margaret (Kerkhoff) Noethe. Stasia Noethe was a graduate of Mercy School of Nursing in Chicago. Stasia married Robert Lyons. Robert "Bob" and Stasia Lyons lived in Westchester, Illinois, for many years. Bob Lyons was an engineer for Western Electric. Bob and Stasia Lyons had two children, Joan Lyons and Janet Lyons.

    Stasia Lyons died in July 1987. Robert Lyons died in 1994. They were buried at Hillside, Illinois.

  5. Marie Noethe was born on January 1, 1917, at Patch Grove, Wisconsin, daughter of George and Margaret (Kerkhoff) Noethe. Marie was a 1938 graduate of the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago, and she was long-time nurse at Northwest Community Hospital. Marie Noethe married John Anthony Graf on December 5, 1942, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. John Graf, who was called "Red," was born on December 10, 1915, at Chicago, Illinois, son of John and Josephine (Strauss) Graf. Red Graf was the production superintendent Standard Safety Equipment Co., a small manufacturer of industrial safety equipment. John and Marie Graf had five children, Mary Jo Graf, Judith Ann "Judy" Graf, Bernard Joseph "Barney" Graf, Margaret Ellen Graf, and Laura Jean Graf. From the end of World War II to 1957, the Grafs resided at Calumet Park, Illinois; they then made their home at Palatine, Illinois. They were members of St. Theresa Parish in Palatine.

    John A. Graf, 80, of Palatine, Illinois, died Thursday, March 21, 1996, at home. Memorial services were held at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 30, at St. Theresa Church in Palatine. Burial was in St. Michael the Archangel Cemetery in Palatine.
          Survivors include his wife Marie E. (née Noethe); his son Barney (Susi) Graf; his daughters Mary Jo Graf, Margaret (Dennis) Mickey, Judith Graf and Laura (Jeffrey Rixleben), and his grandchildren Andrew and Matthew Graf, and Brian, David, Evan and Jason Mickey.

    Marie E. Graf, 91, recently of Friendship Village in Schaumburg, Illinois, and 40-year resident of Palatine, Illinois, passed away on Saturday, May 24, 2008. A memorial Mass was held at St. James Church, in Arlington Heights, Illinois, on Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 2:30 p.m. Interment was private. Memorials were directed to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
          Marie was the beloved wife of the late John A. Graf; devoted mother of Mary Jo, Judy (Ed Johnson), Barney (Susi), Margaret (Dennis) Mickey, and Laura (Jeffrey Rixleben); loving grandmother of Andy (Stacie) and Matt Graf; Brian (Christine), David (Melissa), Evan and Jason Mickey; tickled-pink great-grandmother of Ashley Marie Graf; fond aunt of many nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by her parents George and Margaret Noethe; her brothers Alvin (the late Martha), Edward (the late Alice) and Lavern (Helen) and her sisters Estelle (the late Timothy) Kelly and Stasia (the late Robert) Lyons.
    Online sources of obituary information for Marie Graf, all accessed May 31, 2008: Chicago Tribune:
    Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home:
    Pioneer Press, Palatine Countryside:,pa-obits-052908-s1.article

  6. Lavern A. Noethe was born on May 7, 1919, son of George and Margaret (Kerkhoff) Noethe. Lavern Noethe married Helen J. Benish. Lavern and Helen Noethe had two children, Darrell Noethe and Gayla Noethe.

    Lavern Noethe died on September 7, 1995, at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. He was buried in St. John's Cemetery at Patch Grove, Wisconsin.

Family photograph taken at the 40th wedding anniversary of George and Margaret (Kerkhoff) Noethe
standing, left to right: Alvin, Edward, Lavern, Marie, Estelle, Stasia
seated: George and Margaret "Maggie"

Sources include e-mail correspondence from Sheila Young, Joan Garrity, Mary Jo Graf, and Laura Graf, all grandchildren of George and Margaret Noethe; obituaries from the Dubuque Telegraph Herald; and online resources, including the Social Security Death Index at Sheila Young also provided the Noethe wedding and family photographs. Mary Jane Lein, a granddaughter of Louise Mormann, who was Margaret Noethe's sister, provided a copy of Margaret Noethe's obituary.

Click here for the Gerken family history contents page.

© 2002-17
Tom Larson
Last revised July 1, 2017.

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