September 23, 2014

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Waushara County Fair Demo Derby

Robert Dean Gerdes Print E-mail

Rev. Roland Dean Gerdes, 86, died peacefully on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, surrounded by his loving family.

Born on Jan. 22 in Mason City, IA, and growing up an Iowan farm boy, Roland was called to the Lord’s Ministry at an early age. He attended Moody Bible Institute and graduated in 1947. There he was blessed with meeting his sweetheart and future wife, Ida Lucia. They were married in 1947 in Springfield, MA.

He served the Lord as a leader in Child Evangelism Fellowship, pastored several churches nation-wide, was a founder and director of Camp Fireside in Rochester, NH, and Camp Beechpoint in Allegan, MI, and embarked on international mission trips, where he and his wife touched the hearts of many and led them to their Savior.

With a passion for the outdoors, Roland diligently worked on raising gardens, flowers, and honey bees, enjoyed the peacefulness of watching song birds, and marveled at the beauty of horses. He also found delight in traveling across the states, visiting friends and relatives while enjoying the beauty of the earth.

Roland is preceded in death by his loving wife: Ida; his parents: Oswald and Vella; his brothers: Ralph, Robert, Marvin, and Eugene; and his daughter-in-law: Pamela Gerdes.

His surviving family members include his brother: Charles (Charlotte) Gerdes; his children: Paul Gerdes and Mary Lou (William) Rutter; his grandchildren: Jeremy Mayer, Sarah Rutter, Carrie Rutter, Charise (Mark) Clark, Melissa (Donald) Leonard, Emily (Lewis Horn) Rutter, Zebulun (Holly) Rutter, and Denise Gerdes; great grandchildren: Caden Dean and Luke David Clark; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and friends.

A memorial service celebrating his life will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26 at Mt. Morris Camp and Conference Center in Wautoma. All who have been touched by his life are invited to share their love and stories. Information can be found online as it becomes available at

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

– Matthew 5:16

Roland’s family would like to thank the gentle care of Agnesian Healthcare Hospice, and the loving staff at Heartland House.


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