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Obituary of Gerald Edward Gerlach
Gerald Edward Gerlach
Gerald "Gerry" Gerlach age 87, of Cottage Grove was born October 30, 1935 to Edward and Bertha Gerlach (Kieffer). His early years began on the farm in Miesville. Then at a young age, his family moved to Old Cottage Grove where his parents owned and operated Gerlach Service Inc. Gerry graduated in 1953 from St. Paul Park High School as a pole vaulting track star. Shortly after high school he enlisted in the Army and served in Korea.
On April 22, 1957, Gerry married the love of his life Marge Hageman at St. Boniface Catholic Church and they were inseparable for nearly 66 years. The newlyweds resided in Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri until 1958. Then moved back to Old Cottage Grove where Gerry joined his parents in the family business. There he took pride for over 50 years selling and servicing Allis Chalmers tractors, Gleaner Combines and New Holland farm equipment. Gerry and Marge were blessed with four children and raised the family in Old Cottage Grove.
His service to the community included the Cottage Grove Volunteer Fire Department, Knights of Columbus, Public Works Advisory Commission Charter member of the Lions Club and was a founding member of St. Rita's Catholic Church where he was very active.
Gerry also was a long time member of the Farm Equipment Dealers Association of Minnesota-South Dakota, where he did serve as President. He loved to support the Washington County 4-H Livestock Auction. In 2015 Gerry received the Washington County Outstanding Senior Citizen Award for all of his dedicated volunteer service.
Gerry enjoyed many activities such as bowling, card playing, fishing, gambling, gardening, golfing, hobby farming, polka music and the many winters spent in Arizona. There never seemed to be enough hours in the day but he got it all done and still enjoyed a martini.
On March 15, 2023, Gerry passed away peacefully with his loving family at his side. Survived by his wife Marge (Hageman), son's Randy (Mary), Ron (Rhonda), daughter's Lori Swanson (Gary), and Lisa Wilmes (Joe). Seven grandchildren Travis (Rachel) Swanson, Lindsey (Joe) Fewer, Kim Fuller, Aaron (Annie) Gerlach, Alyssa (Ethan) O'Connor, Callie Kemper, and Collin Kemper. Seven great grandchildren Isabelle, Owen, Breck, Grady, Blake, Brooke, and Brock. Also survived by brother Larry (Mary Katz), sisters Karen Rydeen (Tom Duffy), and Lorna Kadlec.
Gerry will be long remembered for his work ethic which he instilled upon his family. His long battle with Parkinson's Disease limited his love for activities but didn't stop his forever positive attitude and a smile on his face.
Visitation will be 4 PM to 7 PM, Thursday, March 30, 2023 at Church of St. Rita, 8694 80th St. So., Cottage Grove. Memorial Mass 11 AM, Friday, March 31, 2023 with visitation one hour prior. Private Interment for the family will follow at a later date.
Memorials preferred to Church of St. Rita, Washington County 4-H, or any of your choice.
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