Dr. Laurence D. Gatzke
June 8, 1925 - July 22, 2022

Dr. Laurence D.  Gatzke

Dr. Laurence D. Gatzke
Jun 8, 1925 - Jul 22, 2022

Dr. Laurence D.  Gatzke

MUSCATINE, Iowa - Laurence D. Gatzke, BSME, MD, F.A.C.S., 97, of Muscatine, passed away at home on Friday, July 22, 2022.

A private military burial for the immediate family will take place at Greenwood Cemetery on August 2, 2022. The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, monetary donations may be sent to the Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home, 1931 Houser Street, Muscatine, IA 52761. The donations will be given to the Mayo Clinic in his name for continuing Cardiac and Cancer research programs. Online condolences may be made at www.wittichfuneralhome.com.

Dr. L.D. Gatzke was born on June 8, 1925, in Wilton, Iowa. He was one of two sons of Mabel and Albert Kelley. He married Carol P. Sywassink on September 2, 1951, in Muscatine where they raised their family.

He served in the Marines where he learned to fly and became a Radio Navigator and Back-up Gunner.

He attended the University of Iowa, earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He then began his medical training at the University of Iowa Medical School.

He continued his training in General Surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and earned the distinction as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. During his 40 plus year career he practiced medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, Sacramento, California, and finally in Muscatine, Iowa with Dr. George A. Sywassink.

He enjoyed flying his plane to attend medical seminars and ongoing surgical training at Mayo. Additionally, he earned an instrument rating to allow him to fly in poor weather conditions.

Those left to honor his memory include his two sons, Eric Gatzke and his wife, Yvonne, of Parker, Colorado, and Michael Gatzke of Muscatine.

He was preceded in death by a son, Stephen; and wife, Carol.


Rebecca Ernst on Aug 1, 2022

So sorry for the loss of your father.He was a very intelligent man,even into his 90's. You have my sympathies. Becky Ernst

Alan Lindell on Jul 27, 2022

Mike, my deepest condolences to you and your family, on the passing of your father.

Lorayne Witte Burley on Jul 26, 2022

Wishing you peace and comfort during this difficult time. I have many fond memories of Aunt Carol and Uncle Larry. Love the fact that the Gatzke family still owns, and takes care of, the house that Carol/Joanne/Janet/GA Sywassink grew up in!

Nancy mckillip on Jul 26, 2022

So sorry for your loss he was a great dr.

Malissa Sywassink Fana on Jul 25, 2022

Eric and Michael: My most heartfelt wishes to you both. Uncle Larry was a kind and gentle soul. I am so sorry for your loss.

Shelly and Dan on Jul 25, 2022

Our thoughts are with you both Eric and Michael. So many happy memories of the Christmases we shared with all of you!

Dona Pearce on Jul 25, 2022

My deepest condolences to you and your family, Michael, on the loss of your father.



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