Joseph W. Gelling

Joseph W. Gelling
Date of Birth: December 07, 1923
Died on: September 18, 2021

Joseph W. Gelling, 97, of Aberdeen, SD, passed away Saturday, September 18, 2021, at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen.

Joseph W. Gelling was born December 7, 1923, to Robert and Helen (Muldner) Gelling in Minneapolis, MN where he spent most of his life. As a teenager he spent one summer in Iowa working on a dairy farm where he received board and room and a new pair of shoes at the end of the summer. Another summer found him riding boxcars around the country and later he worked on the railroad track maintenance crew. The day after Pearl Harbor (and his 18th Birthday) he joined the Navy and his tour of duty aboard the USS Koiner took him to Cuba, France, China, North Africa and the Caribbean. When he returned to the states, he was fortunate to have been on a troop train that stopped at Aberdeen where they were treated to the famous pheasant sandwiches at 3:00 A.M.

After returning to The Cities, he drove street cars and charter buses before he volunteered in the Army serving in Korea 1948 – 1952.

On June 5, 1948, He married Helen (Cal) Rouen and they were blessed with three children: Mark, Matthew, and Laurel. They were divorced in 1977.

In 1952, he entered the lithography field as both an employee and instructor and later a business owner until his retirement in 1983. He relocated to South Dakota as he had a home in Barnard and farmland he had been leasing out for a few years which he then operated himself.

He married the love of his life, Judy Fust, October 28, 1989, and moved to Aberdeen. After selling his property, he pursued his passion for photography and was involved in wedding and class reunions before he traveled to the Minnesota Fair Circuit with his photography booth for 15 years.

He enjoyed his daily coffee breaks with his fellow camera buffs who were all younger than Joe and have all passed away. He also looked forward to his weekly current breakfast friends. He was involved in bowling and dart leagues, enjoyed dancing, traveling and casino visits, and especially enjoyed time spent with family and friends. Joe could be stubborn at times, but he was very loving, caring, spiritual, compassionate, one of a kind man and will be missed greatly by all who knew and loved him.

Throughout his lifetime Joe was faced with joy, sadness, trials, and tribulations and he is now at peace.

Grateful for having shared his life is his wife, Judy; son, Matthew (Judy) Gelling and their children: Josh, Adam, Brandon, Garrett, Connor, Lindsey and their loved ones; and his daughter Laurel and her children: Leah, Sarah, Joseph and their loved ones, including 15 great-grandchildren; step-sons, Barry (Joan) Fust and their children: David, Mari, Andra and their loved ones; and Troy (Amy) Fust and their children: Thomas, Shelby, Reid and their loved ones, including six step-great-grandchildren.

Preceding Joseph in death are his parents; son, Mark; his first wife, and great-granddaughter, Keira Goldberg.

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