C. Duane 'Gerk' Gerking was born to Cliff and Elsie Gerking in College Place WA on May 8 1926 and quietly entered the embrace of his Lord January 28, 2020. The usual rough and tumble childhood gave way to hard working teen years. At 16 in a full partnership with his older dad Gerk established a dairy, raised row crops on any small patch of ground available, bucked wheat sacks, hauled pea vines and custom harvested wheat. In his spare time he courted Christina Hurley and they married in Nov '46'. Two years later the newlyweds moved to Prosser and began wheat farming as tenants on Horrigan Farms. In '51' son Ed was born and Gerk built an inboard boat to satisfy a love of the water and began teaching neighbors, friends and strangers to ski on the Yakima River. In a 60 year career he raised sugar beets, peas, corn, wheat, potatoes, and hay. He ran beef cattle, a dairy, raised dairy springer hefers and fed several thousand head of client cattle through winter for many years. Gerk worked hard and played hard a lifetime, and was interested in and thoroughly enjoyed everyone he met along the way. If you knew him you liked him. Gerk is survived and missed terribly by Chrissy his sweet wife of 73 yrs, son Ed and daughter-in-law Sherri Hickman Gerking, grandchildren Casey, Kelli and Katie as well as great grandchildren Cameron and Morgan.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, April 25, 2020 at 1:30 pm at the United Methodist Church in Prosser, WA. In lieu of flowers, those who so desire may make memorial donations in memory of Gerk, to Heartlinks Hospice and Palliative Care of Sunnyside, WA. Those wishing to sign Gerk's online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com Smith Funeral Home is in care of arrangements.
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Heartlinks Hospice and Palliative Care
3920 Outlook Rd., Sunnyside WA 98944