Donald Harold Gerdes, 93, of Manson, Iowa went home to be with the Lord on September 19, 2020. Don was born August 4, 1927 at home near Palmer, Iowa to parents Renke and Ella (Ricklefs) Gerdes. On March 26, 1950 he married Jeanette VanHoveln and together raised 3 children, Diane (Gerdes) Graaf, Brian Gerdes and Lori (Gerdes) Reiter.
Don attended grade school at the local country school and attended one year of high school in Manson, Iowa until he was needed to help with the family farm. In 1952, Don joined the US Army and served his country during the Korean War from 1952-1954, earning three stripes and being discharged as Private First Class. On his return from Germany, he rejoined his father and brother, Elmer, to farm until retirement. Don served his church (St. John Lutheran) now Faith Community Church in various capacities. He also served his community by being on the Golden Meadows Senior Living Center board of directors and a member of the American Legion.
Don enjoyed life. Camping trips with family and friends were enjoyed for many years. He also loved the time he and Jeanette spent at their lake home at Table Rock Lake in Missouri. He loved polka music and many years were spent enjoying polka dancing with friends. Don's talents include playing the steel guitar and organ. Family was Don's greatest treasure and he enjoyed each of his 3 children, 10 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.
Don is survived by:
Wife of 70 years - Jeanette
Sister - Marlys Wiemers, Gilmore City, IA
Daughter - Diane (husband Bob) of Clever, MO and their children Brent Graaf (children Ashten, Landen, and Owen of Clever, MO); Whitney (Graaf) Lockman (sons Malihk and Chance) of Fort Dodge, IA; Holly Graaf (daughter Kenley) of Clever, MO; Tyler Graaf (wife Laura and daughter Kayleigh) of Kansas City, MO; Emily (Graaf) Woods (husband Colton) of Rogersville, MO; Jordan Graaf (wife Kelsey and daughter Nora) of Clever, MO;
Son - Brian (wife Bonnie) of Manson, IA and their daughters, Brady Weller (husband Russ and son Judah) of Manson, IA; Brittany Snell (husband Coy and daughter Emersyn and son Beckham) of Manson, IA
Daughter - Lori Reiter (husband Stewart) of Warrensburg, MO and their daughters, Ashley Stroh (husband Cameron and daughters Kaelyn and Shyler) of Knob Knoster, MO; Megan Reiter (daughters Liberty and Dixie) of Warrensburg, MO.
Don was preceded in death by his parents Renke and Ella Gerdes: brother, Elmer Gerdes; and infant twin sisters. His beloved pet, Mr. Kitty passed away last year.
A visitation will be held at Faith Community Church on Oct. 3, from 9-11 AM followed by the celebration of life service.
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