Josephine M Gerdes - January 20, 20131910-2013
Josephine Margaret (Thies) Gerdes, one of seven children of William and Minnie (Volkman) Thies, was born May 10, 1910 in the family home northwest of Auburn, Nebraska. She was baptized in 1910 and confirmed April 24, 1924 at St. Paul Lutheran (Hickory Grove) Church near Auburn. Josephine attended District 21 Linden School near her home, and graduated from Auburn High School in 1928.
On August 24, 1928 Josephine was united in marriage to Earl P. Gerdes in Hiawatha, Kansas. They would make their home in Auburn, and were blessed with five children: Robert, Jane, Shirley, Patricia, and Lee.
Jo and Earl farmed southwest of Auburn until 1941, after which she worked in restaurants in Auburn. Next she managed a paint and wallpaper store in town from 1960 to 1972. Josephine also helped her husband paint houses.
Josephine became a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Auburn after her marriage, and was active in the church throughout her life. She also had belonged to the Auburn Eagles Club. She loved to garden and tend to the flowers around her house, in addition to crocheting. She enjoyed playing cards with friends and family, and was still playing at age 94.
After Earl’s passing in 1991, Jo was able to stay at their home pretty much the rest of her life. She entered the Nemaha County Hospital in Auburn in January of 2013, and passed away there on Sunday, January 20, 2013 at the age of 102 years, 8 months, and 10 days. In addition to her parents and husband, Josephine was preceded in death by her brothers William and Adolph, sisters Helen Kuhl, Minnie Pohlman, Frances Smith, and Alvina Thomas, and daughter and son-in-law Shirley and John Burns.
Josephine is survived by her children Robert and wife Carolyn Gerdes of Bloomington, Minn.; Jane and husband Gene Morrissey of Blair, Neb.; Patricia Gerdes of Sibley, Iowa; Lee Gerdes of Fountain Hills, Ariz.; 17 grandchildren; 35 great-grandchildren; 4 great-great-grandchildren; other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were Monday, January 28, 2013 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Auburn, officiated by Rev. Ken Miller. Donna Caspers was organist for congregational hymns.
Pallbearers were grandsons Jeff Gerdes, Bob Gerdes, Tom Gerdes, Mike Morrissey, Mark Morrissey, John Burns, Jr., Patrick Humphrey, Rick Humphrey, and P.J. Gerdes.
Burial was in St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery near Auburn.
Services were entrusted to Hemmingsen Funeral Home of Auburn.