Ervin W. Scharke, 99, of Brookings, SD, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, at the United Living Community under hospice care.
Graveside services will be held at a later date. Eidsness Funeral Home is assisting Ervin’s family with arrangements.
Ervin W. Scharke was born on Nov. 25, 1921, in Brookings County, SD, the son of Herman and Agnes (Hahn) Scharke.
Ervin received his education in Brookings County, SD. He continued his education at Standard Welding School in Sioux City, IA, and graduated in 1941. He served in the United States Army from 1942 until 1945. He started his basic training at Fort Snelling, then was moved to Georgia, and later to Norfolk, VA. Ervin entered World War II in the fall of 1942, working as a specialist in the Army Coast Artillery. This unit worked with a new technology known as “radar”. This mysterious device gave the Allies the ability to see the enemy bombers approaching from a distance and give them a chance to prepare for battle. Another advantage were powerful spotlights that could illuminate the sky or coastline, creating day where there had been night. They moved along the coast, first to Berzeti, then Algiers, later to Corsica, then into Southern France. From the French coast the soldiers traveled in Germany to towns like Luxemburg, Munich, and finally, Nuremberg. His ability to speak the German language caught the attention of his superior officers, and Ervin became the go-between, bridging the gap between the locals and the army. He came home in 1945 and returned to his job as a welder.
He was united in marriage to Margaret Overend on Aug. 24, 1950, in Elkton, SD. Ervin was diagnosed with polio that developed into paralysis when he was 30 years old. He was the first reported case of polio in Brookings County.
He was admitted to Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls where he was confined for six weeks and had to learn to walk again. Ervin was employed at Kramers Implement Shop in Elkton, SD, for 33 years until his retirement in 1984. After his retirement, he continued to help the farmers with their machinery repairs.
Ervin was a member of the Elkton American Legion Glen Stafford Post #198 for 74 years. A special time for Ervin was in 2016, when he received his 70-year membership award in the American Legion. He enjoyed attending the Memorial Day services in Elkton where he got to visit with his Legion members and many Elkton friends.
Ervin received Jesus Christ as his Personal Savior in the mid 1990’s and attended Prairie Winds Baptist Church in Elkton weekly up until March of 2020. He enjoyed being with his church family and especially the potluck dinners.
Ervin was known for his large garden in Elkton where he grew numerous vegetables. He enjoyed preparing for his spring planting by reading numerous seed catalogs. Ervin was known as “Scharke” around town where he enjoyed visiting and having coffee with his buddies. He always enjoyed his special moments with his children, relatives, and friends, with lots of good food! Ervin always had a soft spot in his heart for all of the family dogs in his life throughout the years.
Ervin lived on his own until 2016, when he moved to Park Place Assisted Living in Brookings, then transferring to ULC about a year later. He enjoyed playing and winning Bingo.
Ervin is survived by his daughters, Sharon (Dave) Hoff, Brookings; Judy (Rick) Cameron, Brookings; daughter-in-law, Karen Scharke, Brookings; sisters-in-law, Kay Overend, Brookings, Pat Overend, San Antonio, TX, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret and son, Bob, his parents, sister, Dorothy, and brothers, Hugo and Paul.
Ervin’s family would like to thank the staff for the wonderful care he received during his stay at ULC and the Elkton community for watching out for him in his later years.
We are also proud of Dad and other veterans who fought for the freedoms of this country and others. Bible scripture chapters to read: Ephesians 2, Matthew 10, Revelation 16 & 20, II Timothy 3, and II John 1.