Dale A. Gerken, 84, of Fort Dodge, passed away on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.
Funeral services will be on Tuesday, October 4th, at 10:30 am at St. Paul Lutheran Church. Burial will follow at Graceland Cemetery south of Fort Dodge. A visitation will be on Monday from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at Laufersweiler-Sievers Funeral Home.
Dale is survived by his children Lonnie Gerken of Fort Dodge, and Sheri Gangestad (Bryce Plantz) of Twin Lakes, grandchildren Tasha, Ashley and Tanner Gerken, Zachary Wilson, and Kayden Gangestad; great-granddaughter, Sophia Wilson, and his sister Joanne (Mervin) Flowers of Fort Dodge.
He was preceded in death by his parents Elmer and Mamie (Walters) Gerken, wife Judy in 2019, infant daughter Gloria and infant son Shannon, brother Walter Gerken, and his sister Jane Eddie.
Dale A. Gerken was born on January 9, 1938, in Fort Dodge. He was raised and educated in Callender and graduated from Callender High School. On December 24, 1958, Dale was united in marriage to Judy Shaw at St. Paul Lutheran Church. Throughout Dales life he enjoyed numerous hobbies. In his younger days Dale used to race dirt track stock cars doing all his own mechanic work. He could fix anything. Dale and Judy enjoyed going to square dances and the neighborhood card club for many years. They farmed together for over 58 years, and eventually settled on the family farm south of Fort Dodge. Dale also enjoyed flying remote control airplanes; building several of his own and became reputable enough to repair RC planes others had crash landed. He was inspired to get his Private Pilot's license and he became an accomplished pilot. This led to Dale buying and owing his own plane and have it stored in the hanger at his farm. The couple spent their winters first in Arizona and then Texas for over 20 years, where Dale enjoyed rounds of golf with his friends. Dale was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church all his life, where he served his congregation by being a lay-minister and being on various boards. Dale's love for farming led him to his most recent hobby of restoring antique tractors and being a long-time member the Des Moines River Valley Antique Tractor and Engine Club. During this time, he had restored over 30 various antique tractors. He was also a drainage trustee for 37 years. But Dale's most important hobby was his family, and he was always there when you needed him, whether it was advice or a helping hand.
Memorials may be left to family discretion of the family.
"My brother, Larry Whipple, loved Dale and enjoyed spending time with him. BEFORE he died in 2003, Larry, told me of Dale, giving him a ride on his motorcycle on the gravel road..Dale told him to hold on and do whatever he (Dale), said..they got going and Dale yelled bump, however Larry heard jump and he let go and flew off the back of the motorcycle and got scratches on his body.. we all enjoyed our visits back ro Iowa after we moved to Morton, Illinois."
"I am so very sorry for your loss Sherry and Lonnie. He was a treasure for you all. The heart hurts. Praying for staying strong with Our Lord?s help ??"
"I only knew Dale through stories told by his granddaughter Tasha but the way she spoke of him I know he was a great, hardworking man, full of love for his family. I see many of the same attributes in Tasha that she describes of him and I know Dale?s memory will live on in the lives of those who knew him. Wishing prayers of peace and comfort as you all navigate this new road without Dale."