Obituary: Erwin Walter Gerdes
Erwin Walter Gerdes, the son of George T. and GeSena Buss Gerdes, was born on August 10, 1934, in Fulda, MN. Erwin passed away on May 20, 2008, at Sunset Cottage, Worthington, MN.
Surviving are his wife, Normajean Gerdes, Fulda; three brothers, Harold (Diane) Gerdes, Fulda; Elden (Audry) Gerdes, Fulda; and Vernon (Carole)
Gerdes, Fulda; sister-in-law, Marlene (Emory) Goertz, Farmington, NM, sister-in-law, Barbara Combs, Des Moines, IA; seven nieces, Diane Taylor, Palmdale, CA, Darla Paine, Little Rock, CA, Sherri (Erwin) Kooiman, Edgerton; Korinne (Tim) Golda, Brewster; Vicki (Dan) Dean, Surprise, AZ; Lisa (Lance) Ratze, Deforest, WI; and Myra (Bernie) Rogan, Kissee Mills, MO; eight nephews, Marlin (Phyllis) Miller, LaCrescenta, CA; Kevin (Sharon) Gerdes, Prior Lake; Merle (Heidi) Gerdes, Willmar; Mark (Melinda) Gerdes, Ionia, MI; Brian (Jennifer) Gerdes, Fulda; Grandon (Nancy) Goertz, Albuquerque, NM; Max Combs, Henderson, NV; and Raymond (DaLeyna) Combs, Pearcy, AR; sixteen grand nieces; sixteen grand nephews; three uncles, Henry Gerdes, Pipestone; Ernest (Marian) Gerdes, and Bennie (Verla) Gerdes, both of Worthington; a multitude of cousins and friends.
He was preceded by his parents and sister, Irene Miller.Erwin graduated from Fulda High School in 1952. In November 1956 he moved to Des Moines, Iowa. He married Normajean Vogelman on February 14, 1957, at Immanuel
Lutheran Church, Osceola, Iowa. Together they moved to the farm in 1963.
When he moved to the farm, he said he retired because "if you love what you do, it's not work". Since 1969 he farmed in a partnership with his brothers, doing most of the planting and combining, while his brothers worked with other equipment/trucks. Farming with a nephew the past few years was a highlight, knowing there was someone to continue with his work when he was no longer here.
He was a life-long member of Immanuel American Lutheran Church, rural Fulda, and had served as Secretary of the Church Council. When he lived in Des Moines, hesang in the First Presbyterian Church choir. Erwin enjoyed hunting, fishing and playing pool with friends. In the 1960's and 1970's he played first base in the Fulda softball league, bowled in league and golfed regularly at the Worthington Country Club. In later years he hunted wildlife with a camera, taking great patience to get
the perfect picture.
He enjoyed traveling throughout the States including Hawaii, and twice to Alaska, a state with scenery that left him in awe. God's magnificent universe was enjoyed from mountains and oceans to sunrises and sunsets.
Many times he told his wife over the past few years, "When I die, don't cry at my passing. I've had a good life, I've done everything I wanted to do, and it's been fun." He always repeated, "It's been fun."
At Erwin's request his ashes will be spread by plane over his farm in Seward Township.