Barbara Gerke, 86, of Des Moines, died Saturday, February 1, 2014, at Taylor House Hospice. Funeral services will be 11:30 a.m. Saturday, February 8 at Iles Grandview Park Chapel with visitation from 10 a.m. until service time. Burial will follow at Resthaven Cemetery.
Barbara was born in Gowrie, IA on December 4, 1927 to Roy and Stella (Wilson) Hickman. She graduated from high school in LaMoille, IA and married Ernest Gerke on May 29, 1949 in Marshalltown, IA where they made a home until moving to Des Moines in 1953. She cared for her family and worked for a time as a waitress at the Iowa State Capital Cafeteria. All of her neighbors will remember her famous chocolate chip cookies.
Barbara devoted her life to her family. She will be lovingly remembered by her husband, Ernest; five children, Pamela Gerke, Paula (Jerry) Palmer, Phyllis (Jeff) Straus, Randy (Cindy) and Ronald (Emily) Gerke; daughter-in-law, Patricia Gerke; sister, Gretchen Shehorn; 14 grandchildren and twenty great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son, Raymond Gerke; parents; brother, Ted Hickman; sister, Betty Edler; grandson, Daniel Jacob Gerke and great granddaughter, Candice Angel Cummins.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Taylor House Hospice or the family.