Bernard “Ben” Rohnke, 83, of Greeley passed away at his son’s house under hospice care on December 28, 2018 with his wife Deanna at his side. He was born November 1, 1935 in Norcatur, KS to Carl and Tena (Jelken) Rohnke where he grew up and graduated from high school in 1954.
Ben excelled in baseball, football and basketball and played at Dodge City, KS Junior College. He then came to Colorado State Teacher’s College (UNC) where he earned his BS in Education and later, his master’s degree.
On December 27, 1959, he was married to Deanna Wagaman in Dodge City.
He began his teaching career in Dodge City and Norcatur, KS and he then served in the U.S. Army from June of 1959 to May of 1961 with 13 months spent in South Korea, after the Korean conflict.
Following his discharge from the army, he and his wife moved to Greeley where he began teaching at Arlington Elementary. He later became principal of Arlington, followed by years as principal of Jackson, Monfort and Cameron Elementary schools before retiring in 1991. Ben was deeply devoted to his life as an educator and loved working with children, parents and teachers. He believed in the worth and dignity of each and every child.
Ben played several sports in his retirement years, including volleyball, softball and tennis. He started the volleyball league at the Greeley Senior Center. He was an avid fisherman and loved to sing bass for many years in several barbershop groups; “The Loveland Chorus”, the 100 man Denver chorus –“Sound of the Rockies”, and the” Union Colony Barbershop Quartet” in Greeley.
Ben is survived by his wife, Deanna of Greeley, son, Brian (Nicole) and their children, Tanner and Skylar and son Kevin (Angie) and their children, Joe and Alex as well as his 104 year old sister, Tena Wimer.
He is preceded in death by his parents and 13 siblings.
Life Celebration Services will be held on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, 11:00 a.m., at the Adamson Life Celebration Home followed by a luncheon. Memorial gifts may be made to an educational scholarship set up at Greeley Central High School in Ben’s name, payable to “Greeley Central”- memo line: “Ben Rohnke Memorial Scholarship”. Mail to Greeley Central, c/o Nancy Kern Finance Office, 1515 14th Ave. Greeley, CO 80631. Friends may leave condolences at AdamsonCares.com.