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Verna K. Gerken, 94

Verna Katherine Gerken, 94, of Lake City, died on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at St. Brigid's at Hi-Park in Red Wing.

Verna was born on Nov. 14, 1919, to Albert and Siena (Nehring) Grote in Wacouta Township, Goodhue County. She attended rural school District 25 in Pleasant Valley, Wabasha County. On Sept. 5, 1941, Verna was united in marriage to Bernard Gerken, at St. John's Lutheran Church in Frontenac. Verna raised her family and was a homemaker. She and Bernard farmed in Lake Township and then moved to the home farm in 1948, in Gilford Township.

She belonged to the Rose Garden Club, Trinity Lutheran Ladies Aid, and sang in their choir. She was also a janitor and Sunday school teacher at Trinity Lutheran. She was a group leader for the Gilford Golden Gophers 4-H Group. Verna loved gardening and raising her chickens. She competed in the local county fairs with entries including breads, flowers, vegetables, and her homemade angel food cake. She was an avid canner also. Verna wrote many notes to family and friends over the years, and kept a diary up until her death.

Verna is survived by her sons, Dwain (Marilyn) Gerken of Lake City, Robert (Lesley) Gerken of Lake City, and Curtis (Judy) Gerken of Neenah, WI; eight grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren; two brothers, Charles (Mary) Grote of Hastings, Minn., and Virgil (Joanne) Kunde of Virginia; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband on March 16, 2012; one son Bruce in 2013; and one brother, Virgil Grote.

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 24, at Lincoln Trinity Lutheran Church with Reverend Tim Learman officiating. Burial will be in the Spring in the church cemetery. Visitation will be from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23, at Mahn Family Funeral Home, Anderson-Peterson Chapel in Lake City and one hour prior to church on Monday.

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