Dorothy Gerken

Dorothy Gerken
Date of Birth: July 25, 1917
Died on: November 06, 2019

Dorothy Gerken passed away Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at Wheatcrest Hills in Britton, at the age of 102.

Dorothy F. Gerken was born July 25, 1917 to Frank and Anne (Kenny) Colestock in Hecla, SD.  On August 24, 1932 she was united in marriage with Irvin “Tony” Gerken in Britton. They farmed in the Hecla area, worked on Bonham Ranch from 1950-1968 near Britton. After Verl Cutler bought the ranch, they moved to Cutler Farm near Claremont, SD. Tony passed away May 6, 1989 and Dorothy moved to Aberdeen.  She has lived on her own until she fell in December 2018.

She will be remembered as a talented seamstress, sewing simple patterns to wedding dresses. She would even make her own patterns! She was a gifted pianist and gave many lessons to her neighboring children. Music was important to her and she enjoyed people singing to her and with her. Dorothy’s yard was always well kept and a very abundant garden! She raised strawberries and people from neighboring towns would come from miles to get her strawberries.

She is survived by her daughter, Darlys (Terry) Nehlich, Aberdeen, SD; her sons: Clayton (Bonnie) Gerken, Britton; Gerald (Jeanne) Gerken, Brandon, SD; 12 grandchildren; 1 foster grandson; a huge number of great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren and great-great-great-grandchildren. Dorothy amazingly and proudly remembered everyone’s birthdays/names until she reached 100!

Preceding her in death are her parents; her husband; a daughter, Thelma (Clarence) Swearingen; brother Bernard “Buck” (Claudia) Colestock; sisters: Irene (“Dick”) Gimble, Loretta (Gerald) Pfutzenreuter, Viola (Roy) Shilhanek; sister-in-law, Jerri Sullivan Colestock; son-in-law Thomas Rittal; daughter-in-law, Lois Gerken; infant grandson Timothy Rittal; and great-grandson Thomas Rittal III.




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