Gerald Gehrke, 94, formerly of New Holland passed away at 6:32 p.m. on March 3, 2018, at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Lincoln, surrounded by his loving family.
Gerald was born on March 1, 1924, in Lincoln, IL; son of William and Amanda (Franz) Gehrke. He married Vivian Treakle on December 10, 1947, in New Holland, IL. She preceded him in death in January of 1992. He married Alta Wood in 1995 in New Holland, IL. She survives him.
Also surviving Gerald are his children: Marilyn (Karl) Turner of Normal, IL, Marj Medina of Issaquah, WA, Linda (Brad) Helgeson of Lincoln, IL, Brenda (Greg) Roosevelt of Glen Carbon, IL, David Gehrke of Kingston, IL, John Gehrke of Springfield, IL, and Diane (Larry) Cook of Lincoln, IL; step children: Kathy Moorhead of Lincoln, IL, Deb Faner of Shawnee, KS, and Diane Faner of Lincoln, IL; 17 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, one sister: Golda Mae Gehrke, one infant brother: Merle, one daughter: Carolyn Gehrke, and one grandson: Nicholas Schwalbach.
Gerald proudly enlisted in the United States Army and served in the European Theatre during WWII. He was in the 95th Infantry, Anti-Tank Battalion, and earned several battle commendations including the Bronze Star. Upon return from WW II, he worked as a district sales manager for Fuller Seed Company and as the elected Chairman of the local ASCS county committee. He then began a 25-year career as the County Executive Director of the ASCS office, USDA. After retirement, he served as a Bank Director for the New Holland Farmers Bank, and many years on the Logan County Board of Review. He was a lifelong member of Zion Lutheran Church in New Holland and held many positions at the church. He was a member of the American Legion Post # 715, National Farmers Union, an active member of the Aid Association for Lutherans. Gerald was a lifelong farmer in the New Holland area. God, his family, his Country, and his farm were very important to Gerald, and he served them well. He will always be remembered for his warm smile and he will be missed by all that knew him.
Services for Gerald will be 11:00 a.m. Thursday, March 8, 2018, at Zion Lutheran Church in New Holland with Rev. Charles Olander officiating. Visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at Fricke-Calvert-Schrader Funeral Home in Lincoln, IL and also one hour prior to service at the church (10:00-11:00 a.m.). A family burial will be held at a later date at Richmond Grove Cemetery in New Holland. Memorials may be made in Gerald’s name to Zion Lutheran Church in New Holland.