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Phillip D. 'Phil' Kamke

April 24, 1933 February 15, 2023
Phillip D. 'Phil' Kamke
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Obituary for Phillip D. 'Phil' Kamke

Phillip D. Kamke, 89, of Merrill, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 15, 2023. Phil was born April 24, 1933, in Merrill, WI, son of the late William and Verna (Plautz) Kamke. He graduated from Merrill High School in 1951. Phil received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from UW Stevens Point in 1957 after serving two years in the US Army during the Korean War, stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground and Okinawa, Japan. Phil married the love of his life, Marge Zipp, on June 17, 1961. Together they raised two children, Nancy and David.

Phil spent 58 years as President of Wm Kamke & Sons, Inc, a farm and lawn implement business. He was very proud of his wife as a Registered Nurse and both children receiving University of Wisconsin Bachelor’s Degrees. Phil cherished the many friendships he made through his business and many sporting events. Phil had a great love for football having played in high school, the US Army, and at UW Stevens Point. He was inducted into Merrill High School’s Golden M Club having received his varsity letter in football more than 50 years ago. Phil and his dad went to their first Green Bay Packer game in 1957 as season ticket holders when Lambeau Field was built. He was also an avid Cubs fan. Phil liked competition playing city league softball, church dartball, league bowling, and many, many years of golf.

Phil and Marge spent quality time with their family traveling the US and camping in their GMC motorhome. As they got older, they started spending a few weeks each winter in Palm Springs, CA, and eventually made Orange Beach, AL, their winter home. The friends they made in Orange Beach, from near and far, will always be cherished.

Phil was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. He had a zest for life and will be greatly missed.

Phil is survived by his wife, Marge; their children, Nancy Borelli of Merrill and David Kamke of Breckenridge, CO; grandchild, Stephanie (Bradley) Baumgart, and great-grandchildren, Maci and Tucker, all of Merrill. He is further survived by many brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Phil was preceded in death by his parents, William and Verna Kamke; his brother, Roger Kamke; and his in-laws, Fred and Olga Zipp.

Per Phil’s wishes, there will be a family celebration of life at a later date. Taylor-Stine Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Merrill, is assisting the family.

Online condolences may be made at

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