OBITUARY

George Stenke

December 21, 1921April 4, 2018
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With deep sadness, we mourn the loss of George Stenke, age 96, who departed this life on April, 4, 2018 in his hometown of Virginia Beach, VA. George lived a full and rewarding life as a husband, father, Naval Officer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He always believed in helping people and for the past 40 years has shared his considerable resources with the less fortunate. His impact on our local community was great and he will be missed. George was born in Boyne City, Michigan on December 21, 1921, eldest son and one of 12 children born to George and Augusta Stenke. Coming of age during the Great Depression-and like others of the Greatest Generation-George knew the value of hard work and perseverance. At age 16, George’s adventurous and ambitious spirit led him away from the family farm to join the U.S. Navy, where he proudly served his country in World War II, the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War. During his 29-year career, he worked his way up from the bottom rung of the enlisted ranks to achieve his final officer rank of Commander through the Limited Duty Officer (LDO) program. His Navy career included both sea and shore assignments relating to his machinist mate rating, his “Hard Hat” Diver specialty, and his LDO Engineering designator. Sea tours comprised the vast majority of his 29-year career serving on a variety of patrol craft, destroyer tenders, supply ships, and aircraft carriers. Ship assignments included USS Enterprise (CV-6), USS Koiner (DE-331), USS Pinto (ATF-90), USS Rogue (AG-137), USS Alsea (ATF-97), USS Grand Canyon (AD-28), USS Sierra (AD-18), and USS Rigel (AF-58). His last ship was the USS Intrepid (CVS-11) where he served as Chief Engineer. Shore commands included Diesel School, Norfolk; Packard Marine Engineering School, Detroit; Navy Shipyard, Philadelphia; and Inactive Ships Facility, Norfolk/ He received numerous awards during his career; among those were Navy Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Service Medal, European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asian-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Medal. While still in the Navy, George moonlighted as a fence, siding, and insulation salesman, which established opportunities and a direction for his post-Navy career. After his retirement from the Navy in 1969, he purchased Hercules Fence. He still carries “FENCES” on his automobile license plate, in honor of his entrepreneurial roots. He later expanded his business portfolio by starting OK Moving and Storage. From there he began a highly successful entrepreneurial career with the establishment of Pickett Road Enterprises and Harmony Road Properties, a conglomerate of small companies and real estate holdings. No doubt, his friends, business associates, and the Virginia Beach City officials will miss meeting with George for breakfast at the local Waffletown. This daily ritual over the last several years became affectionately known as the “Politician’s Club.” A devout Catholic, George felt a strong need to help others. At St. Pius X School in Norfolk, he was the major reason behind the new parish hall (named for his wife, Josephine), new gym, new roof for convent, and air conditioning installation throughout the Pre-K-8th grade school. George has served on the General Board of Catholic Charities for over thirty years and was the founding member of the Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia Foundation, where he established the ‘George & Josephine Stenke Fund’. In addition, he served in various leadership positions for both St. Pius X Church and School. For his many, many years of support for his church, the Dioceses of Richmond, and Catholic Charities, George and his wife Josephine received the Bishop’s Humanitarian Award from Catholic Charites of Eastern Virginia in 2006, and George received a Lifetime of Giving Award in 2017. These awards honor individuals for their service to the community, charitable support and efforts to improve the lives of the less fortunate. Helping others extended to helping neighbors and the environment. George built his home in Thoroughgood on the shores of Thoroughgood Cove and Lake Charles, where he and his family have lived since 1961. He was instrumental in developing and improving Lake Charles and the dam that contains it-a benefit for all of the Lake’s homeowners to enjoy. His contributions to this community were noted in the book “History of the Thoroughgood Neighborhood (1955-2013)” where George is listed as a Who’s Who in the neighborhood’s long and distinguished history. George provided the loan to the Thoroughgood Civic League to produce this book when it first published in 2013. George was predeceased in 2011 by Josephine Stenke, his beloved wife of 64 years. He is survived by his daughter Linda Flannagan and her husband Ted and his granddaughter Angelique Ragland BSNMT – both of whom he is most proud; as well as his present wife, Carolyn Stenke. He is also survived by his sister Pauline Proctor. The family wishes to extend a special thanks to his amazing caregivers, BJ Scott, Patricia, Anna, Jasmine, Paige, Crystal and Ruth. The family will receive friends on Monday, April 9, 2018 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., with a wake service at 7:00 p.m., at Rosewood Kellum Funeral Home, 601 N. Witchduck Rd., Virginia Beach, VA . Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 7800 Halprin Dr., Norfolk VA . Entombment will follow at Rosewood Memorial Park with a reception to follow back in the Josephine Stenke Memorial Hall at St. Pius X School. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions should be made to St. Pius X Catholic Church or School in Norfolk, Virginia. All arrangements are under the care and direction of Rosewood Kellum Funeral Home and Memorial Park. You may offer your condolences and share memories of George at www.Kellumfuneralhome.com.

  • FAMILY

  • Josephine Stenke~ Predeceased, Beloved wife of 64 years
  • George Stenke ~ Predeceased, Father
  • Augusta Stenke ~ Predeceased, Mother
  • Linda Flannagan and her husband, Ted, Daughter
  • Angelique Ragland, Granddaughter
  • Pauline Proctor, Sister
  • Carolyn Stenke, Wife
  • PALLBEARERS

  • Vernon Towler
  • James Steiger
  • Robert McKenzie
  • Joseph D'Amato
  • Ron Waynick
  • Daniel Greene
  • Vincent Mastracco
  • Ron Hamblin
  • Clancy Holland
  • DONATIONS

  • St. Pius X Catholic Church or School in Norfolk

Services

  • Visitation Monday, April 9, 2018
  • Wake Service Monday, April 9, 2018
  • Mass of Christian Burial Tuesday, April 10, 2018
REMEMBERING

George Stenke

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Angelique Ragland

April 14, 2018

Can't think of a better person to be staring over my shoulder😊 for those that don't know this is the shadow from the front door, which I did the graphics on, directly on the wall right behind my desk!!!

Pauline Proctor

April 9, 2018

This is a newspaper article from 1965 that announced my brother George's appointment as a Commander in the Navy. We were so very proud of him. Will miss him so much!

Brenda Uyak

April 8, 2018

As a long time Thoroughgood resident, I was not aware of some of Mr. Stenke's contributions to the neighborhood. As a former St. Pius X School teacher, I am so very grateful for all he did for the students and faculty. He gave us faculty and staff members turkeys to brighten our holiday dinners. His contributions toward building the gym, air conditioning and purchase of laptop computers for students enhanced our educational endeavors. I saw first hand what a difference the laptop purchases made for the students. He was our own guardian angel. I had the pleasure of talking with him at one of our auctions a few years ago and told him what a difference he made at the school.

We all share your loss, and Mr. Stenke and your family are in my prayers.

Brenda Uyak

Sherran Denkler

April 8, 2018

Linda and Angel, I was so very sad to hear of George's passing.

May the knowledge that your mom and dad not only loved you but loved and did so much for so many, comfort you and carry you through life without them.

God bless and keep you,
Sherran Denkler

Betty Kaye Schomburg

April 8, 2018

Deepest sympathy. God be with you. Office Manager, Excel Paving Corp.

JOHN BALDWIN III

April 7, 2018

I first met George in September 1962 as I boarded the USS RIGEL while anchored in Naples, Italy. I was a newly commissioned Ensign reporting to my first ship, my first duty station in the US Navy, he was the ship's Executive Office, he was Commander Stenke to me. CDR Stenke became my mentor and was a man who positively influenced and matured me during my first two years in the navy. I still retell many sea stories relating to those years with fond memories of the XO. In 1966 George led my wife and I in our search for our very first home in Virginia Beach, a new 3 bedroom ranch. As you may have anticipated, he provided the added insulation and fencing that we needed. I was greatly grieved to read of George's loss and found it hard to believe so many years have sped by. I have never forgotten and never will forget having known him as my leader, shipmate and friend.

Kathy Katsias

April 7, 2018

My heartfelt sympathy to the Stenke family
Kathy Katsias

Angelique Ragland

April 6, 2018

Angelique Ragland

April 6, 2018

Linda & Gordon Kimbel

April 6, 2018

Our last visit to Uncle Junior (as his family back in Michigan called him) was in January of 2016. We had both just retired and traveled thru Florida and up to Virginia Beach to visit. He welcomed us as always and was the consummate host and benevolent Uncle. This picture was taken at Waffletown during one of his infamous "Politician's Club" meetings! He was the life of the party!
We will miss him!
Linda & Gordon Kimbel
(daughter of his sister Pauline Proctor)

Biography

With deep sadness, we mourn the loss of George Stenke, age 96, who departed this life on April, 4, 2018 in his hometown of Virginia Beach, VA. George lived a full and rewarding life as a husband, father, Naval Officer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He always believed in helping people and for the past 40 years has shared his considerable resources with the less fortunate. His impact on our local community was great and he will be missed.
George was born in Boyne City, Michigan on December 21, 1921, eldest son and one of 12 children born to George and Augusta Stenke. Coming of age during the Great Depression-and like others of the Greatest Generation-George knew the value of hard work and perseverance. At age 16, George’s adventurous and ambitious spirit led him away from the family farm to join the U.S. Navy, where he proudly served his country in World War II, the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War. During his 29-year career, he worked his way up from the bottom rung of the enlisted ranks to achieve his final officer rank of Commander through the Limited Duty Officer (LDO) program. His Navy career included both sea and shore assignments relating to his machinist mate rating, his “Hard Hat” Diver specialty, and his LDO Engineering designator. Sea tours comprised the vast majority of his 29-year career serving on a variety of patrol craft, destroyer tenders, supply ships, and aircraft carriers. Ship assignments included USS Enterprise (CV-6), USS Koiner (DE-331), USS Pinto (ATF-90), USS Rogue (AG-137), USS Alsea (ATF-97), USS Grand Canyon (AD-28), USS Sierra (AD-18), and USS Rigel (AF-58). His last ship was the USS Intrepid (CVS-11) where he served as Chief Engineer. Shore commands included Diesel School, Norfolk; Packard Marine Engineering School, Detroit; Navy Shipyard, Philadelphia; and Inactive Ships Facility, Norfolk/ He received numerous awards during his career; among those were Navy Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Service Medal, European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asian-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Medal.
While still in the Navy, George moonlighted as a fence, siding, and insulation salesman, which established opportunities and a direction for his post-Navy career. After his retirement from the Navy in 1969, he purchased Hercules Fence. He still carries “FENCES” on his automobile license plate, in honor of his entrepreneurial roots. He later expanded his business portfolio by starting OK Moving and Storage. From there he began a highly successful entrepreneurial career with the establishment of Pickett Road Enterprises and Harmony Road Properties, a conglomerate of small companies and real estate holdings. No doubt, his friends, business associates, and the Virginia Beach City officials will miss meeting with George for breakfast at the local Waffletown. This daily ritual over the last several years became affectionately known as the “Politician’s Club.”
A devout Catholic, George felt a strong need to help others. At St. Pius X School in Norfolk, he was the major reason behind the new parish hall (named for his wife, Josephine), new gym, new roof for convent, and air conditioning installation throughout the Pre-K-8th grade school. George has served on the General Board of Catholic Charities for over thirty years and was the founding member of the Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia Foundation, where he established the ‘George & Josephine Stenke Fund’. In addition, he served in various leadership positions for both St. Pius X Church and School. For his many, many years of support for his church, the Dioceses of Richmond, and Catholic Charities, George and his wife Josephine received the Bishop’s Humanitarian Award from Catholic Charites of Eastern Virginia in 2006, and George received a Lifetime of Giving Award in 2017. These awards honor individuals for their service to the community, charitable support and efforts to improve the lives of the less fortunate.
Helping others extended to helping neighbors and the environment. George built his home in Thoroughgood on the shores of Thoroughgood Cove and Lake Charles, where he and his family have lived since 1961. He was instrumental in developing and improving Lake Charles and the dam that contains it-a benefit for all of the Lake’s homeowners to enjoy. His contributions to this community were noted in the book “History of the Thoroughgood Neighborhood (1955-2013)” where George is listed as a Who’s Who in the neighborhood’s long and distinguished history. George provided the loan to the Thoroughgood Civic League to produce this book when it first published in 2013.
George was predeceased in 2011 by Josephine Stenke, his beloved wife of 64 years. He is survived by his daughter Linda Flannagan and her husband Ted and his granddaughter Angelique Ragland BSNMT – both of whom he is most proud; as well as his present wife, Carolyn Stenke. He is also survived by his sister Pauline Proctor. The family wishes to extend a special thanks to his amazing caregivers, BJ Scott, Patricia, Anna, Jasmine, Paige, Crystal and Ruth.
The family will receive friends on Monday, April 9, 2018 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., with a wake service at 7:00 p.m., at Rosewood Kellum Funeral Home, 601 N. Witchduck Rd., Virginia Beach, VA . Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 7800 Halprin Dr., Norfolk VA . Entombment will follow at Rosewood Memorial Park with a reception to follow back in the Josephine Stenke Memorial Hall at St. Pius X School. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions should be made to St. Pius X Catholic Church or School in Norfolk, Virginia. All arrangements are under the care and direction of Rosewood Kellum Funeral Home and Memorial Park. You may offer your condolences and share memories of George at www.Kellumfuneralhome.com.