After a several-week battle with illness, John Andy Erb, 66, left the presence of his wife and children and stepped into the arms of his Savior on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
He was the son of Armin and Irene (Swenson) Erb, born to them in Emmetsburg, Iowa, on Dec. 11, 1954. He married Vicki Putzke, his high school sweetheart, on Aug. 16, 1974, and together they raised five children.
Those who knew John will remember him for his faith, his sense of humor, his generosity and his gentle love for his family, especially his 29 grandchildren. Many Chetek residents will also think of him whenever a school bus passes through town.
John is survived by his wife, Vicki, of Chetek; three daughters, Jodi Kiffmeyer, of Eau Claire, Wis., Marti (Bill) Ager, of Madison, Wis., and Keri (Paul) Poppe, of Chetek; two sons, John (Drina) Erb, of Louisville, Ky., and Jason (Andrea) Erb, also of Louisville; twenty-nine grandchildren; three sisters, Carolyn (Doug) Schmidt, of Troy, Mich., Marcia (Bob) Shevy, of Hanover, Mich., and Julie (Bruce) Enemark, of Sanford, Fla.; and his father, Armin (Eva) Erb, of Chetek; mother-in-law, Beverly Putzke, of St. Augustine, Fla,; brothers-in-law, Gary Putzke, of Rice Lake, Wis., Brian (Karen) Putzke, of St. Augustine, Greg (Deb) Putzke, of St. Augustine; sister-in-law, Mindy (Shawn) Lenahan, of Jacksonville, Fla.; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.
John’s mother, Irene Erb, and father-in-law, L. Duane Putzke, preceded him in death.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, at 11 a.m. at Faith Baptist Church in Chetek. Visitation is Thursday, Sept. 23, from 5–8 p.m. at Burnham-Ours Funeral Home in Chetek and for one hour prior to the funeral at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to: Rochester Mennonite Guest House; 1407 First Street SW; Rochester, MN 55902 or Pregnancy Help Center/LifeSpring Home; P. O. Box 334; Rice Lake, WI 54868; or online at pregnancyhelpricelake.org. Note John Erb Memorial on the memo line. They may also be sent directly to Vicki Erb; P. O. Box 438; Chetek, WI 54728, and she will see they get to the proper place.
The Hope of the Resurrection (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)
13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.