Garhardt “Gates” Gerlach, 76, Dimock, died Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, at Dougherty Hospice House, Sioux Falls. He was born on Oct. 9, 1936. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Dimock. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at the church with a 7 p.m. prayer service. Arrangements are by Koehn Brothers Funeral Home, Parkston.
Garhardt “Gates” Gerlach was born to John E. and Margaret (Riecke) Gerlach in Douglas County.
He was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church, rural Dimock, where he was a lifetime member.
As a young boy, Gates helped on the family farm and attended school at Garfield No. 2 until eighth grade.
As a young man, he served in the National Guard, worked on road construction and worked for other farmers in the area.
On Feb. 8, 1964, Gates married Linda Wunder at St. John’s Lutheran Church.
They began their life in Mitchell before moving back to the family farm in 1965, where he lived for the rest of his life.
To this union, four children were born: Laurie, Lynette, Darren and Kathy.
In October 2010, Gates finally received the title he always wanted — Grandpa — when his grandson, Justin, was born.
During his life, Gates enjoyed bowling, playing cards, visiting with family and friends, reading and just being on the farm.
He also held several offices at St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Gates is survived by his wife, Linda, Corsica; his children: Laurie, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Lynette, Chamberlain; Darren and his wife LeAnne and their son Justin, the joy of Gates’ his life, all of Scotland; and Kathy, Laramie, Wyo.; his brothers: Norbert (Carol), Mount Vernon; Lambert (Joyce), Cottonwood, Ariz.; Harlan (Sandy), Summerset; and David (Jeanine), Rapid City; his sisters: Mary (Gene) Paradeis, Mitchell; Barb Nesheim, Cave Creek, Ariz.; and Pat Butterfield, Woodinville, Wash.; his sister-in-law and brother-inlaw, Ileen and Floyd Bialas, Parkston; his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Gordy and Judy Wunder, Armour; his brother-in-law Roy (BJ) Wolford, Pikeville, Ky.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters: Dorothy Travis, June Droppers and Judy Mae Gerlach; his brothers-in-law: Marion Travis, Cal Droppers, Bob Nesheim and Loren Wunder; and a sister-in-law, Judy Wolford.