Donald Dean Gerdes
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February 1, 1926 - August 14, 2012
Donald Dean Gerdes, 86 of Wilder passed away Tuesday August 14th at the Parma Living Center. Don was born to Ted and Mabel Gerdes on February 1, 1926 in Bruning Nebraska. At 14, amidst the dustbowl and Great Depression, the family loaded up and moved to Greenleaf, Idaho where they worked for local farmers. Don graduated from Greenleaf Friends Academy.
At 18 years old he joined the Navy and was stationed in Okinawa Japan during WWII, serving as a Sea Bee. When he returned home he purchased his first John Deere 1945, "B" through a program offered to GI's. He began farming with his dad in the Central Cove, where he farmed until his late 70's.
He met his wife of 63 years, Ila Sommers, at the Rollerdrome in Nampa. They were married on August 14, 1949 at Grace Lutheran Church in Caldwell. Together they worked the land, milked cows and raised 4 children; Pam (Fred) Kelly, Cindy Gerdes (Gary Doi), Sandy (Fred) Sarceda and Donnie (Dixie) Gerdes.
Don shared his love for the Lord with his children and grandchildren. He attended Mt.Calvary Lutheran Church in Homedale. He was also a member of the Homedale Lion's Club and charter member of the collective bargaining group, the National Farmers Organization.
He is survived by his wife, 4 children, 10 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren, brother Bob (Emmy) Gerdes, sister-in-laws Jean Gerdes and Martha Sommers and 8 special nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, brother Duane Gerdes and brother-in-law Gilbert Sommers.
A service celebrating Don's life will be held Saturday August 18th, 11:00 a.m. at the Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Homedale. Friends and family are invited to lunch at the Homedale Senior Citizen's Center following the service. A private burial will occur prior to the service. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church (621 W. Idaho, Homedale, ID 83628). Condolences may be sent to www.flahifffuneralchapel.com.
Published in Idaho Press Tribune from Aug. 16 to Aug. 17, 2012