Detlef Andreas Galke passed on from this life on November 19, 2023, after losing a short but formidable battle with pancreatic cancer.
Detlef Galke was born on April 30, 1953, in Hohenbostel, Germany to Erbo and Erika Galke. His family immigrated to the United States when he was three years old. Detlef, together with his four siblings, was raised by his parents in South Salt Lake City, Utah. They were a tight-knit family who loved one another.
Detlef loved to be the star of the show, loved magic, music, and movies. He could be found singing along to the Beach Boys or watching 1950’s black and white westerns. Detlef was an accomplished soccer player and the kicker on his high school football team where his claim to fame was a game-winning 53-yard field goal. Shortly after graduation from South High, he mustered the courage to ask out JaNell Jones, ultimately his eternal companion, while working as a bagger for a local grocery store. Detlef always took pride in his ability to organize and may have been overly critical of other baggers he met at the checkout counter.
Detlef and JaNell married in 1974 in the Salt Lake City, Utah Temple, and were nearing their 50th wedding anniversary. Detlef loved JaNell deeply and they were inseparable. Together, they are surrounded by a loving family of three children, their spouses, and twelve grandchildren. They built a strong family bond and many life-long friendships while raising their children in Taylorsville, Utah. Detlef made sure to tell his grandkids that he loves them bigger than the universe. He loved to attend their activities and support them both emotionally and financially by rewarding soccer goals with cash and with flowers at performances.
Second only to his family, Detlef loved Christmas. His favorite song, White Christmas, was a year-round fixture around the house much like his prized Christmas lights. He prided himself on his gift-wrapping skills and subscribed to the belief that quantity is best. Grandkids had no shortage of gifts to open after the traditional German Christmas Eve dinner including individually wrapped markers, at times. The grandkids often found their gifts wrapped in random boxes and anxiously awaited “just one more” gift from grandpa.
Detlef was a graduate of the University of Utah in accounting and built a successful career as an accountant in the construction management industry. He took pride in his work and the relationships he built along the way. Detlef and JaNell have spent the past 20 years together in North Salt Lake City, Utah and cherish the community. Detlef lived a lifetime of faithful church service and was well-known to attend church meetings with a pocket full of mints and tootsie rolls to share. Detlef loved to play golf but claimed that the game was only secondary to a great time with good friends. He loved cheering on the Utes and was extremely generous with sharing his prized season football tickets with his family.
Detlef was preceded in death by his parents and three of his siblings. He is survived by his wife JaNell, his children, his grandchildren, his sister Christine Galke, and Sister In-Law Rayleen Galke. Detlef and his family are grateful for the care providers who helped him through his last days.
A visitation will be held from 9-9:45 a.m. on Saturday, November 25, 2023, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 351 Lofty Lane, North Salt Lake, Utah. A memorial service will be held at the same location beginning at 10 a.m. Following the memorial service, interment will take place at Elysian Burial Gardens, 1075 East 4580 South, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Services will be streamed live on the Russon Mortuary & Crematory Facebook page and on this obituary page. The live stream will begin about 10-15 minutes prior to the service and will be posted below.