Paul “Ham” Wernke

Paul “Ham” Wernke


Paul “Ham” Wernke, 86, of North Vernon, passed away at 9:48 a.m. on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at the St. Vincent Hospital in Jennings County.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, November 15, 2019 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in North Vernon. Father Jerry Byrd will be officiating. Burial will be in the St. Mary’s Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Thursday, November 14, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. till 8:00 p.m. with a rosary service being conducted at 3:30 at Jennings County High School auxiliary gymnasium.

Born March 7, 1933, in Batesville, Paul was the son of Edwin and Alma (Mosier) Wernke. He was united in marriage to Kathryn Giltz on September 4, 1954. She survives.

Paul graduated from Batesville High School in 1951. He graduated from Florida State in 1955 and went on to receive his masters from IU in 1974. Paul retired from Jennings County School System in 1993 after 37 years in teaching and administration.

In addition to his wife, Kathryn Wernke of North Vernon, survivors include sons, Jim Wernke (Marilynn) of Indianapolis and Dale Wernke (Jo Ann) of North Vernon; daughters, Taryn Broadus (Don) and Sandi Kirchner (Pat) of North Vernon, Karol Speer (Rich) of Indianapolis, and JuneAnn Rigney (John) of Greensburg; sister, Wanda Wernke of North Vernon; grandchildren, Jessica Lowman (Gabe), Ryan Wernke (Bailey), Jamin Wernke (Angela), Ashley Martin (Shawn), Adam Wernke (Rachel), Devon Broadus (Chassie), Abbey Bales (Aaron), Justin Wernke (Lauren), Eric Wernke, Alex Kirchner (Lauren), Macey Speer, Adrian Kirchner, Collin Rigney, and Raegan Rigney, along with 17 great grandkids.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Edwin and Alma Wernke and his brother, Edward Wernke.

Memorials can be made through the Sawyer Pickett Funeral Home to St. Mary’s School/Marquee and Masses.

Friends and family are invited to light a candle or leave a message of condolence in Paul’s memory at

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