Donald J. Gerk - Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel

March 23, 1923 - November 15, 2020

Donald J. Gerk, age 97, of Minnesota Masonic Home, formerly of Richfield. Our Lord called home our beloved father and grandfather on Sunday, November 15, 2020. He passed peacefully with family at the Masonic Home. Born to parents, Peter and Agnes Gerk and grew up in N.E. Mpls. Served in the US Army Air Force in Guam during WWII. Married and raised his family in Richfield. Don was a long-time member of House of Prayer Lutheran Church and a sixty-year member of the Masonic Lodge Phoenix Daylight Lodge #350 and the Scottish Rite. He treasured his time with family, loved playing bridge and golf. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 66 years, Elaine Gerk; daughters, Carolyn Gerk and Barbara Smith; and brother, Robert Gerk. He will be dearly missed by his children, Richard Gerk (Carole) and Nancy Grothe (Gary); and son-in-law, David Smith; grandchildren, Jefferson Vargas (Angie), Daniel Gerk, Brian O. Vargas, Carly Lawson (Kramer), Thomas Gerk (Tina), Neal Grothe (Heather), Nicholas Grothe (Alisa); great-grandchildren, Owen and Norah Lawson; Carter and Blake Grothe and Leo and Reid Grothe; brothers-in-law, Homer Stennes (June), Charles Stennes (Maria), and nieces and nephews.

Private family interment was held at Hillside Cemetery, Mpls.
Recorded Link for Donald’s Service.

Celebration of Life Event to be scheduled for next summer. The family extends a special thank you to the staff at the Minnesota Masonic Home Assisted Living.

Memorials may be given to House of Prayer Lutheran Church or Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital.


  1. Tina Gerk says:

    Our condolences and sympathy for the loss of beloved grandpa and father to the families. Prayers and thoughts are with them during this grieving, sadness and difficult times.

  2. Susan Bjerke says:

    Such a lovely man, great patriarch that leaves a wonderful family legacy behind in his kids and grandkids. It was our privilege to have known him❤️Scott & Sue Bjerke

  3. Nancy Ott-Pinckaers says:

    Nancy and family,
    So sorry for your loss. Remembering Carolyn also, my good friend from college. Prayers for your family.

  4. Mark Smeltzly says:

    Nancy – I’m so sorry to hear your father has passed. You were blessed to have him in your life for so long !

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