Jean Gaulke

Jean Gaulke


April 27, 1950 - September 5, 2022


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, brother, David, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and Aunt Ev.

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


Friday, September 9, 2022
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
805 W Havens Ave
Mitchell, SD 57301


Saturday, September 10, 2022
10:00 AM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
805 W Havens Ave
Mitchell, SD 57301

Posted by Linda Heath on September 12, 2022
We loved Jean as our regular waitress at the legion. Her dry sense of humor and caring service meant the world to us. Rest in paradise.
Posted by Carla birdsley on September 11, 2022
RIP Jean
Posted by Shelly Knigge on September 9, 2022
You were always so pleasant to speak to and always had a smile for everyone. Hugs for all the family.
Posted by Rich & Mary Pollreisz on September 9, 2022
Jean will always be a treasured memory for us, It is because of her , that Rich and I met,,,She was an amazing woman,,I will always be grateful for her,,Rest in peaceJean, Thanks for our happy life and we will see you again,,,
Posted by Donna Jean on September 9, 2022
I will forever miss you , you where my sunshine, my best friend, I love you dearly,
Posted by Fred Stransky on September 8, 2022
Prayers sent to Donna Dan Roy
Posted by Karen and Carter VanOverschelde on September 8, 2022
Sincerest sympathy to Dan, Donna and Roy and families. Thoughts and prayers for Cheyenne and Austin. As they her world, she was theirs💛
Posted by Rita Baumgart on September 8, 2022
I am so sorry to hear this I can’t believe it she was a good friend and she was a good worker we had allot of good times and many laughs sorry I won’t be there I am out of town but you kids are in my thoughts and prayers she will be missed by many
Posted by Donna and Eddie Kemp on September 8, 2022
My little butterfly will be missed as much as she was loved....
Posted by Carol Vilhauer on September 7, 2022
I worked with Jean at I 90. My sympathy to her family, she is with Richard now.
Posted by Bruce & Karen Long on September 7, 2022
Jean was married to my favorite uncle, Richard. They were a great couple. I miss them both, but now they are together again.
Posted by Charlene Robinson on September 7, 2022
My heart is heavy with sorrow about Jean’s passing. My sympathy and prayers to you all. All the best to the family
Posted by Carol Lingemann on September 7, 2022
We are so sorry for your loss. I will miss seeing her at Cheyenne’s basketball games.
Posted by Tammy Smith on September 7, 2022
R.I.P. you will be missed
Posted by Jenny Kotrba on September 7, 2022
Jean was such a nice lady. My Mom and I loved her. We requeated her to be our waitress everytime we went to Betty's.
Posted by Lori Kane on September 6, 2022
Lovingly remembering the family gatherings Jean and Richard hosted at their cabin. Jean was an awesome cook and worked tirelessly to make sure everyone felt welcomed and comfortable in their home.
Posted by Joseph Kousman on September 6, 2022
So,so,so very sorry love you bunches.
Posted by Victoria Herron on September 6, 2022
I'm sorry for your lost prayers for her family and friends
Posted by Leanne Bradwisch on September 6, 2022
I will always remember Jean as being one of the best waitresses at the American Legion in Mitchell. Our sympathy and prayers for her family.
Posted by David Welch on September 6, 2022
Love you Sis
Posted by Christine Ybarra on September 6, 2022
Wished that I could’ve spent more time with you but I’ll definitely will cherish the memories that I do have. Love you
Posted by Richard and Mary Goudy on September 6, 2022
So sorry for your loss. She was a great friend to us.
Posted by Charlie & Wanda Kobes on September 6, 2022
So sorry to hear of this sad loss of a great lady !! Jean was always there for everyone that needed her . Her family was everything to her ❤️ !
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