Ora Lucille Gerdes was born January 20, 1923, on the family’s farm southwest of Auburn. She was one of eight children, born to John F. and Adele (Behrends) Gerdes. Ora was baptized March 5, 1923 by Pastor Duhrkop and confirmed April 5, 1936 by Pastor Wiencke, both at St. John Lutheran (Stone) Church. She received her education at Shurtleff School, District #74 and Muddy School, District #41.
On August 20, 1942, Ora was united in marriage to Orval C. Behrends. To this union three children were born, Marilyn, Eldon and Joyce. Along with raising her family, she helped on the farm until Orval’s passing when she moved to Johnson. She spent many hours tending her flowers, gardening and canning the produce. She liked to crochet, sew, do puzzle books and play cards. Her coffee cake and homemade buns were favorites and left overs went home with family. Her greatest joy was her family. She volunteered many years at Good Samaritan helping with Bingo and on the Johnson Rag staff. Ora was a life-long member at St. John, where she served on the Altar Guild and especially enjoyed making many quilts at home and with the church sewing group.
On September 6, 2019, Ora passed away at Good Samaritan Society – Auburn, at the age of 96 years, 7 months, 18 days.
She is survived by her children, Marilyn (Wayne) Knippelmeyer, Auburn, NE; Eldon (Susan) Behrends, Tucson, AZ; Joyce (Lynn) Fortkamp, Champion, NE; grandchildren, DeAnn (David) Wood, Sandi Knippelmeyer, Darcie Shanklin, Serina (Jeremy Young) Behrends, Jerel (Mary) Fortkamp, Deven Fortkamp, Kelen (Lisa) Fortkamp, great-grandchildren, Cody, Colton (Logan “Lo”), Logan, Tara, Tanner, Ireland, Jazmyn, Kylie, Lillianna, Andrew, Sophie, Jason, Taylor, Alex; great-great grandchildren, Cooper, Roman, Rhett (arriving soon); sister, Maxine Behrends; brothers-in-law, Harvey Bergmann, Maynard Behrends; sister-in-law, Lenora Remmers.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Orval; parents, John and Adele Gerdes; grandson, Brandon Behrends; brothers, Elmer (Luella), Arnold (Lucille), LaVerne (Shirley), Raymond (Nadyne), Lloyd (Marlene); sister, Della Bergmann; brother-in-law, Alvin Behrends.
A funeral service will be Wednesday, September 11, 10:30 a.m., at St. John Lutheran (Stone) Church. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Visitation will be at Hemmingsen Funeral Home in Auburn on Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. with family greeting friends from 6:00 to 8:00.
Memorials are suggested to family choice.