Kent David Gerking of Nebraska City died Aug. 21, 2013 due to complications of bipolar disorder. Kent was born June 8, 1959 to James D. and Deanne (Folkerts) Gerking, and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Talmage. He graduated from Johnson-Brock High School in 1977.
On June 16, 1979 Kent married the love of his life, Lori Sue Remmers. They were blessed with two sons, Cory and Kyle. They made their home north of Brock.
Kent demonstrated his ingenuity through his work at the Brock Grain Company, where many in the community grew to love him. He and Lori moved to Nebraska City ten years ago, where Kent innovatively managed and engineered the EnTire Recycling plant.
Active in church and community his whole life, he was an imaginative problem solver and a compassionate friend to many. He served as a volunteer firefighter, delivered Meals On Wheels, freely gave his time at church to lead the youth group, teach Sunday School, and enjoyed leading the congregation in song. As a member of First Lutheran Church in Nebraska City, he has served on the Church Council and as president. A man of few words, he was a steady presence at ballgames and family gatherings, often with a bag of his favorite popcorn in hand. Kent lived his faith in hundreds of small acts of kindness for which he is fondly remembered.
Here's what made Kent smile: whatever made his princess happy, especially gatherings with friends or family and always their regular trips to Jamaica. He and Lori celebrated their 30th anniversary with a dream vacation in Europe, where Kent had no trouble navigating the rental car. They enjoyed visiting their new grandson, bike rides, long walks and watching Kyle play softball with his buddies.
Kent was preceded in death by parents-in-law Ervin and Linda Remmers (Oestmann). Those who mourn today include his beloved wife Lori of Nebraska City; sons Cory and wife Kristen Gerking and their son Preston of Jacksonville, Fla., Kyle and wife Laura Gerking of Weeping Water; parents Jim and Deanne Gerking of Brock; stepfather-in-law Jim Oestmann and grandmother Audre Blankenship of Auburn; sisters and their spouses Kathy Gerking and Andy Johnson of Iowa City, Iowa, Karen and Dave Wolken of Tecumseh, Kim and Bob Butler of Brock; sister-in-law Kim Stuart and her husband Kurt of Wahoo.
Kent loved every one of his nieces and nephews: Danielle Remmers and her daughter Georgia, Kellen Heideman, Amber and Bryan Dutcher, Jamie Remmers, Anna Johnson, Laurel and Seth Zentner, Kaci Wolken, Grahm Butler, Aaron Johnson, Kale Wolken, and Brook Stuart. Other relatives and many friends join this family to remember and celebrate one they treasured and trusted.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, Aug. 26, at 11 a.m., at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 315 South 16th St., in Nebraska City. The family may be greeted at Gude Mortuary, 403 South 9th St. on Sunday from 4-6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family; some will be used to build houses in Jamaica through Food for the Poor in honor of Kent.
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