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2000 47th Avenue
Greeley, CO 80634
Phone: 970-353-1212
Fax: 970-353-4881
Bernard Rohnke

Bernard Dean Rohnke

Friday, November 1st, 1935 - Friday, December 28th, 2018
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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
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Service Details

  • Service

    Friday, February 1st, 2019 | 11:00am
    Friday, February 1st, 2019 11:00am
    Adamson Chapel
    2000 47th Avenue
    Greeley, Colorado 80634
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Betty Brown

Posted at 02:43pm
Ben was a special teacher to many students at Arlington Elementary School as well as a thoughtful and helpful principal. Students and parents alike appreciated his calm, steady personality and his ability to solve problems, always with a smile. My children and I mother send our sympathy to Ben's family. Betty Brown

Lori Lovato

Posted at 12:13pm
Mr. Rohnke was my 6th grade teacher in 1968 at Arlington Elementary. I respected and adored him and I have thought about him often through the years. He treated all of his students with respect and fairness. I believe he had an impact on my life more than I am aware of. Thank you Mr. Rohnke and be at peace. Lori (Hein) Lovato

Dr. Ken and Sylvia Humphrey

Posted at 11:51am
Sylvia and I were saddened to learn of Ben's passing. We were neighbors in the Broadview area when we first moved to Greeley in 1970. We always enjoyed talking to both Ben and Deanna. Ben and I were colleagues in School District Six as elementary principals for more than 14 years, so we had many opportunities to talk about kids, their education and working with the teachers in our respective schools. I was always impressed with his undying focus on kids and their educational well-being. To my recollection, we served in several similar schools, including Arlington and Monfort. Unfortunately, Ben's passing adds to the list of other District 6 elementary principals I've worked with and we've lost: Bill Ericson, Ken Eckhardt, Fred Tjardes, Winnie Gettman, Tom Elliott, Catherine Rife (among others), along with Assistant Superintendent Le Triplett. I miss them all. Our special condolences go out to Deanna and her sons. Ken Humphrey

Peggy Drake

Posted at 08:38am
Mr Rohnke was my favorite teacher in grade school at Arlington, always so kind.. I have fondly thought of him many times throughout the years. God Bless your family during this difficult time. Peggy Drake

Norma Fritchell

Posted at 01:57pm
I knew Mr Rohnke when he was principal of Cameron Elementary.. My daughter Jennifer and I thought the world of him. He was such a sweet, kind, and intelligent man. He truly will be missed in the educational community.

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