Cover photo for Raymond Gerdes's Obituary
Raymond Gerdes Profile Photo
1929 Raymond 2012

Raymond Gerdes

December 3, 1929 — November 7, 2012

Raymond Friedrich Gerdes, one of eight children of John Friedrich and Wilhelmine (Behrends) Gerdes, was born December 3, 1929 on the family farm near Auburn, Nebraska. He was baptized December 29, 1929 and confirmed by Rev. G.K. Wiencke November 21, 1943, both occurring at St. John Lutheran (Stone) Church. Raymond attended the Old Muddy District 41 School near his home.

On May 31, 1951 Raymond was united in marriage to Nadyne E. Alberts at St. James Lutheran (Long Branch) Church near Humboldt, Nebraska. They made their first home on a farm in rural Pawnee County, where they were blessed with four children: Kathy, Gary, Pamela, and Laurie.

Raymond entered the U.S. Army on January 16, 1952 and served in Korea during the war. Originally in the 128th Infantry Division, Quartermasters, he was attached to the Air Force, responsible for maintenance of runways. After his honorable discharge on October 21, 1953, he returned to Nemaha County and his family.

For a while after his marriage Ray worked as a truck driver until he was able to go into farming full time. In 1965 Ray purchased the family farm from his dad, where he would live out his life. He was proud to receive the NRD Conservation Award in 1980 for the way he tended to his land. He had a nice collection of refurbished antique tractors, including the first new tractor he bought.

Raymond was a member of St. James Lutheran Church, where he held several offices throughout the years. He belonged to the Johnson American Legion Post #330, and was a past member of the Auburn Eagles. Ray had many interests, including shooting pool, bowling, dancing, and playing cards with family and friends. Most of all he loved being with family, and started a tradition of giving quarters to his grandkids and great-grandkids.

After a few hospital stays in his later years, Ray entered the Nemaha County Hospital in Auburn on November 4, 2012. He passed away there on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at the age of 82 years, 11 months, and 4 days. He was preceded in death by his parents, son Gary, daughter Pamela, brothers Elmer, Arnold and his wife Lucille, LaVerne, Lloyd, and brothers-in-law Orval Behrends, Alvin Behrends, and Larry Rogge.

Raymond is survived by his wife Nadyne of Humboldt; daughters and sons-in-law Kathy and Bob Grotrian of Humboldt; Laurie and Dale Piper of Springfield; grandchildren Bobbi and husband Steve Tegtmeier, Ryan and wife Kim Grotrian, Kerri and husband Brian Lambert, Clint and wife Gina Piper, Adam and wife Amber Piper; great-grandchildren Derek and Dylan Tegtmeier, Sayge and Sawyer Grotrian, Isabella and Colton Piper, plus one on the way; sisters Ora Behrends and Maxine Behrends, both of Johnson; Della and husband Harvey Bergmann of Auburn; sisters-in-law Shirley Gerdes and Marlene Gerdes, both of Auburn; Betty Rogge of Ridge Crest, CA; other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were Saturday, November 10, 2012 at St. James Lutheran (Long Branch) Church near Humboldt, officiated by Rev Amalia Spruth-Janssen. Carolyn Hahn was organist for congregational hymns. Casket bearers were Ryan Grotrian, Steve Tegtmeier, Brian Lambert, Clint Piper, Adam Piper, Derek Tegtmeier, Dylan Tegtmeier and Colton Piper. Flower bearers were Bobbi Tegtmeier, Kim Grotrian, Kerri Lambert, Gina Piper, Amber Piper, Sayge Grotrian, Sawyer Grotrian, and Isabella Piper. Burial followed in the church cemetery, with graveside military honors provided by American Legion Post #330 of Johnson and the Nebraska National Guard Honor Guard.
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