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Raymond “Ray” Dwight Gerke, 85, State Center

Raymond “Ray” Dwight Gerke, age 85, of State Center, Iowa, passed away on Monday, May 15, 2023 at State Center Specialty Care.

Services for Ray will take place on Wednesday, May 31 at 10:30 A.M. at Trinity Lutheran Church in State Center. He will be laid to rest at Hillside Cemetery. Friends and family are also invited to attend a visitation on Tuesday, May 30 from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M., also at Trinity. Mitchell Family Funeral Home has been entrusted with the care of Ray and his family. For questions or condolences, please visit or call 641-844-1234.

Born on September 27, 1937, in State Center, he was the eldest son of Alvin and Ida (Henze) Gerke. He received his education in the St. John Parochial School and graduated from State Center High School in 1955. He honorably served his country in the United States Army from 1955 to 1957. Upon his return, he attended the University of Iowa.

On April 15, 1961, he was united in marriage to Karen Hopper at the St. John Lutheran Church north of State Center. State Center was home all of their married lives. The couple farmed and raised their family north of State Center until moving into town. Ray also worked as office manager at Marshall County REC. He was a lifelong member of St. John Lutheran Church and a member of the Mid Iowa Antique Power Association. In his free time, he enjoyed fishing and camping with his wife and they were involved with the Excel camping group.

Left to cherish his memory are Karen, his loving wife of 62 years; five children: Cindy (the late Frank) Knights, Brad (Christine) Gerke, Jeff (Kelly) Gerke, Doug (Tonya) Gerke and Susie (Jay) Klemme; his grandchildren: Lindsay (Stephen) Adams, Jared (Erica) Knights, Rachel (Trevor) Long, Brianna (Bryce) Jorgensen, Krista (Collin) Christensen, Kara Gerke, Ethan (Malaina) Gerke, Elijah Gerke, Josie Gerke, Gabrielle Gerke and Samantha Gerke; 12 great-grandchildren; his siblings: Mary (John) Kretz and Harlan (Karen) Gerke, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

In death, Ray rejoined his parents, his son-in-law Frank Knights, brother David Gerke, sister-in-law Char Williams and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

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