Charles “Chuck” Frederick Gehrke, MD

Charles “Chuck” Frederick Gehrke, MD, age 85, of Tecumseh passed away on Sunday, April 18, 2021 at his home. He was born November 27, 1935 in Detroit, the son of the late Elmer Frederick and Alma Amanda (Jedele) Gehrke. On July 21, 1990, in Ann Arbor, he married Sharell Ann Watrous and they shared over 30 years together.

Chuck proudly served his country and was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force as a Captain. He was a proud graduate of Cass Technical High School in Detroit and received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Michigan. Chuck practiced medicine for over 22 years in hematology/oncology at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor. While at St. Joe’s, he served as president of the Department of Internal Medicine, chief of staff, and president of Huron Valley Physicians Association.

Following his retirement from private practice, Chuck was the medical director for Huron Oaks Chemical Dependency Treatment Program, vice president of Medical Affairs at St. Mary Hospital in Saginaw, medical director at Michigan-Health Professional Recovery Program, medical director with Indiana State Nurses’ Assistance Program and was on staff with Brighton Center for Recovery. During his career Chuck was also the volunteer medical director at Hemophilia Camp of Michigan, a member of the Board of Directors of Dawn Farm, member of the session at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor and First Presbyterian Church in Tecumseh, and president of the Tecumseh Kiwanis Club. He was involved with the development of Huron Oaks Chemical Dependency Facility, the Hemophilia Camp of Michigan, HVPA, and served as a monitor of impaired medical students at MSU and WSU medical schools.

Chuck was a sports fan, especially of the Lions, Tigers and Red Wings teams of his youth. Whenever he attended a Tigers game, which was often, he always kept a scorecard. He loved winter and was an avid snowmobiler. At different times he collected coins, stamps, matchbook covers and postcards, and he enjoyed giving postcard presentations on esoteric topics like the copper mines of the Upper Peninsula and the churches of Detroit. A life-long learner, he was a passionate student of history and earned a master’s degree in American history at age 79 from Eastern Michigan University. He regularly wrote letters to the editor and liked to debate the issues of the day. He traveled widely, including trips to Russia, Israel and Sub-Saharan Africa, and took great pleasure in the European river cruises he shared with Sharell.

Besides his wife, Sharell, he is survived by his children, James (Coleen Kelly) Gehrke of Washington, D.C.; Karl Gehrke of Dexter; Mark (Carolyn) Gehrke of Ypsilanti; Lisa (Raymond) Brown of Ft. Worth, Texas; and Cindy (Craig) Coburn of Middleville, Mich.; sister, Carole Ann (John) McConnell of Tecumseh; seven grandchildren, Sarah (Mark) Bridle, Matthew Brown, Zachary Brown, Nathan Coburn, Cayla Coburn, Anna Gehrke and Claire Gehrke; and five great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his first wife and the mother of his sons, Sue Gaines Gehrke.

In accordance to Chuck’s wishes cremation has taken place. A private graveside service will be held for his immediate family at Brookside Cemetery in Tecumseh with Rev. Cathi King officiating. A public memorial service for Chuck will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Dawn Farm, the Hemophilia Foundation of Michigan - Bold Eagle Camp and the First Presbyterian Church of Tecumseh.  Arrangements are under the care of the Tecumseh Chapel of Handler Funeral Homes. Online condolences may be offered to the family at


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