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home : obituaries : obituaries Friday, June 24, 2016

11/26/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
Frederick J. Gerdes
Frederick J. "Fred" Gerdes, 85, of DeWitt died early Tuesday morning, Nov. 26, 2013, at Westwing Place, DeWitt.

Fred was born July 19, 1928, to Frederick Jr. and Olive Bittner Gerdes, in Aberdeen, S.D. He graduated from Aberdeen High School in 1946 and enlisted in the U.S. Marines Corps.

Fred was united in marriage to Doris Leigh Robinson Aug. 20, 1948, at the First Methodist Church in Aberdeen.

He graduated from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with an engineering degree in 1951. The couple moved to DeWitt in 1956. After a successful career in heavy construction equipment sales, he retired from Herman M. Brown Co. of Des Moines, as Eastern Division Manager of Sales and Service in 1994.

Fred was an active member of the DeWitt United Methodist Church, the Masonic Lodge (Blue Lodge, Consistory, Shriners and Jesters), the Eugene McManus American Legion Post 238 of DeWitt, University of Iowa I Club, DeWitt Noon Lions, Plus-60 Club and the Theta Tau Engineering Fraternity.

He was honored as the University of Iowa Track Official of the Year in 1997 and inducted into the Central Community High School Hall of Fame in 2008. He was a past member of the Central Community School Board and Saber Booster Club.

Fred was an avid sports fan (his beloved Iowa Hawkeyes and New York Yankees). His interests included pheasant hunting, fishing, John Wayne westerns, reading historical non-fiction, food and most of all, his family.

Those left to honor his memory include his wife of 65 years, Doris Leigh, his sons and daughters-in-law, Kenneth and Kathleen of San Marcos, Calif., Douglas and Dorothy of North Liberty, Roger and Mary Jeanne of DeWitt and Paul and Marta of Chicago, Ill.; grandchildren, Joshua (Laura), Sean, Ryan and Patrick; great-grandchildren, Jack, Odin and Coraline; and a brother.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother and two sisters.

Memorials may be directed to the DeWitt United Methodist Church and Central Community Schools Education Foundation.

A Masonic service, visitation and a memorial service were held Friday, Nov. 29, at the DeWitt United Methodist Church. The Rev. Dr. Donald L. Batz officiated.

Interment and full military honors were conducted at Elmwood Cemetery, DeWitt.

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