FAIRMONT - Funeral services for Gloria D. Gerhardt, 92, of Fairmont, Minn., will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, March 17, at St. John's United Church of Christ in Fairmont. Burial will follow at the Fairview Memorial Park in Fairmont. Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. Sunday, March 16, at Lakeview Funeral Home in Fairmont, and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday.
Gloria passed away Friday morning, March 14, 2014, at the Goldfinch Memory Care Facility. Gloria Daphane Smith was born in the rural area of Hitchcock, S.D. on Jan. 18, 1922. Her parents were Norman and Gladys Smith. She attended country school until the fifth and sixth grades, taking these two grades in one year. The family moved to Lebanon, S.D., where she attended school and graduated in 1939. Her ambition was to be a nurse and she had saved money, but with a near death with pneumonia when as a senior, her money had to be used to help pay the doctor and nursing bills. After her schooling, she worked as a house cleaner and children sitter for two years. During the drought, the grasshopper and army worms infestations made it impossible to find work. Her two older sisters and one brother with other friends had driven as far as Martin County to find work. From this, Gloria came by train to also work here in June of 1941. She met Paul Gerhardt, a young farmer. They were married on Feb. 15, 1942, at the St. Paul's Evangelical and Reformed Church in Welcome. They were blessed with six children:?Wayne, Elaine, Ronald, Beverly, Milah and Bradley. They lived in the Welcome area for 29 years before moving to Fairmont in 1957. Paul passed away on Oct. 15, 2012.
Gloria was an active choir member for 66 years and president of the Women's Guild, besides helping with weddings, funerals and teaching Sunday school when needed. She enjoyed being a spotless housekeeper and was very interested in music and sports. She enjoyed her gardens, African violets as well as other flowers. She wrote many poems - some for special occasions. She became interested in the prospective chapter of Sweet Adelines in March of 1986, and was a dancer for the Rockerettes.
Left to cherish the memory of Gloria are six children, Wayne Gerhardt and his wife, Laurie, of Alexandria, Minn., Elaine Gerhardt of Hugo, Minn., Ronald Gerhardt and his wife, Vicki, of Sherburn, Minn., Beverly Gerhardt of East Chain, Minn., Milah Howlett and her husband, Joel, of Fairmont, Minn., Brad Gerhardt and his wife, Nyla, of Fairmont, Minn.; 29 grandchildren; 44 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; sister, Mary Lou Koosman of St. Croix Falls, Wis.; brother, Richard Smith of Cordova, Neb.; brothers-in-law, Albert Gerhardt and his wife, Gladys, of Fairmont, Minn., and Robert Gerhardt and his wife, Doris, of Fairmont, Minn.; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Gloria was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Paul Gerhardt; an infant son, Ervin George Gerhardt; grandson, John Gerhardt; great-granddaughter, Charity Borchardt; three sisters; and two brothers.