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David L "Dave" Gerke


1940 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
David L "Dave" Gerke Obituary
David L. Gerke "Dave" passed on to his new life at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque NM on Friday December 13 2013. He was 73. A celebration of his life was held at 11 am Monday, December 23rd at Dunn's Funeral Home in Tucumcari, NM.
Dave was born in Merrill, Wisconsin on September 9th, 1940 to Hilda Johnson (who later remarried Alvin Toschner) and Lawrence Gerke. He was told "he was the prettiest baby born there". Dave was the second of four children, Dave grew up working hard and fighting hard to achieve. He remembered warmheartedly his first fight on his first day of kindergarten with the biggest first grader who picked on him. He came out on top.
Dave's first job was raising rabbits for the local butcher. He was made fun of because he could raise them, sell them but could never eat them. After that, he worked as a newspaper boy. He was very proud of buying his first suit, blue, which he wore to graduation and his wedding. He married young to Janet (divorced). They had five children, four boys and one girl. They moved to upper Michigan where Dave worked as a Lumberjack.
When diagnosed with diabetes at age 35, Dave decided to follow his dream. He headed to Alaska to hunt bear, moose and go king salmon fishing and climb mountains. He joked "What do you see on the other side of the mountain? Just more and more mountains to climb." In Alaska his hard work and dedication paid off. He became the Deputy Director of Housing of the North Slope Bureau in Barrow AK. A massive heart attack ended his career. He then moved to Nome AK and met Loretta, his second wife. They had three daughters Loni, Samy and Danielle. Together Dave, Loretta and family moved to the ""Lower 48" for better climate. They settled in Carlsbad NM. Health complications progressed resulting in the loss of his legs. He never gave up. He continued to walk on prosthetics until the very end. He became a painter, a cowboy (along with teaching his daughters to love and care for horses) (he loved his cowboy hats), and an UFO hunter. After a second divorce life continued and Dave taught himself how to play base guitar and immensely enjoyed his Thursday night jam sessions at the Senior Center on Mesa Street. While his daughters were in school, he accomplished so much including hobbies as fixing up cars and gardening.
After Loni, his oldest daughter, graduated from high school, Dave met the "love of his life" Julia. They married and traveled most of the US settling in Arizona for a time. They shared their hobbies together which included writing books, singing old country western tunes, gold panning, RVing to the many places they traveled to. While Writing his books, Dave and Julia made many friends across the US.
Dave will be remembered for his sense of humor, big personality, Go-Get-Them attitude and constant tenacity in the face of adversity. He would laughed at the irony that he was admitted to the hospital on Halloween and passed on Friday the 13th. Dave wanted the last thing to be said at his service to be "Look, he winked!".
Dave is preceded in death by his mother, Hilda and her husband Alvin, His father Lawrence; infant brother, infant daughter, Samy; and granddaughter, Zoey. His survivors include his sister Peggy Marek & husband Lonnie and brother Gust & wife Dodie all of Wausau, WI. Dave's daughters and sons in law; Loni Daub & Zip, Danielle Frey & Stephen and grandson Braden Frey all of Carlsbad NM and Julia Calbert, the love of his life, of Tucumcari NM.
Pallbearers were; Zip Daub, Zac Daub, Stephen Frey, Matthew Pacheco, Dominic Pacheco, Adrian Wright and Simon Ortiz. The Honorary pallbearers were; Michele Mitchell, Jonathan Mitchell, Marcus Mitchell and Nevaeh Montoya.
Arrangements entrusted to Dunn Funeral Home of Tucumcari NM.
Published in the Quay County Sun on Jan. 1, 2014
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