Howard Walter Mahnke, 95, Rockford, Illinois, died at 4:50 p.m., Wednesday, April 1, 2015 in Medina Manor Nursing Center after a brief illness.\r\r\n\r\r\n Born October 4, 1919 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Mr. and Mrs. William and Clara Mahnke. He married the former Lucila Dorothy Barlow in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 14, 1942. He was employed as a fireman by Milwaukee County, retiring in 1985. Veteran of WWII, serving in the US Army and Merchant Marines. He was a former member of Beaver Dam Lake Association. Howard was a great outdoorsman who loved hunting and fishing. He was feisty, but always knew what you needed and when you needed something. He loved animals.\r\r\n\r\r\n Survivors include daughters, Janice (Tom) Ditzler, Rockford, Illinois and Mila (Dennis) Hintz, Hot Springs, Arkansas; grandchild, Christina Ditzler Westmas, Rockford, Illinois; sister-in-law, Joan Mahnke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; numerous nieces and nephews and “The Girls” Wendy Braun and Marcia Hendricks. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Lucila, granddaughter Cassondra Ditzler and four brothers, Harvey, William, Jr, Chester and Clarence.\r\r\n\r\r\n Graveside ceremonies will be held at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, April 7, 2015 in Highland Memorial Cemetery, New Berlin, Wisconsin with Reverend Roger Boesch officiating. McCorkle Funeral Home-Durand Chapel, 101 Main Street, Durand, Illinois assisted the family.