Jean Gaulk


Jean Gaulke, 72, of Ethan, SD, passed away peacefully on September 5, 2022, at her home in Ethan under hospice care. Funeral services will be 10:00 AM Saturday, September 10, at Bittner Funeral Chapel. Visitation will be Friday from 5-7:00 PM at Bittner Funeral Chapel.

Jeanne Ellen Sonne Gaulke was born on April 27, 1950, to Robert and Vivian Welch in Mitchell, SD. During her childhood, she traveled across the country with her family and attended different schools. She graduated from Molalla High School in Molalla, Oregon, in 1969. After she graduated high school, she moved back to South Dakota to be closer to family. On August 7, 1970, she married Donald Sonne, and to this union, Donna, Rueben (Dan), and Roy were born. Jeanne and Donald got divorced in the 80s. Her kids were her world after her divorce. She later married Richard Gaulke on July 30, 2005.

She waitressed for about 50 years. She worked at various jobs: Quartz, West 40, I-90, and Betty’s Cafe. She also worked in the cafeteria at the Mitchell High School for about two years.

She loved spending time with friends and family, her grandkids, Cheyanne and Austin Sonne, were her world. She enjoyed spending time in the Black Hills at her cabin.

She is survived by her mother, Vivian; daughter, Donna Gronke, Mitchell, SD; sons, Rueben “Dan” (Lori) Sonne, Ethan SD and Roy Sonne Ethan SD; her precious granddaughter, Cheyanne Sonne; grandson, Austin Sonne; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and Aunt Ev.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Gaulke; father, Robert Welch; sister, Robi Decker; and brother, David.

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