Dear Classes of 1958, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1969 and 1973:
This is a Deacon Alert to inform you of the passing of George Gerlach ('68) on Sunday, Jan. 17th.
George was a member of the Class of 1968 and the brother of Rosemary (Gerlach) Brown* ('60), Patricia (Gerlach) Witte ('64), Gerry Gerlach ('69), Vaughan Gerlach ('73) and the late Albert Gerlach ('58).
April 4, 1950 - Jan. 17, 2016
George Joseph Gerlach was born on April 4, 1950, in Moorhead, MN, the son of George J. and Mary E. (Vaughan) Gerlach. He was baptized at birth in St. Ansgar Hospital and confirmed in the Catholic faith at St. Mary's Cathedral in Fargo, ND. He graduated from Shanley High School in Fargo, ND then attended and graduated from North Dakota State University of Fargo, ND.
On June 26, 1971, George was united in marriage to Carol Lynn Starr in Bisbee, ND. He worked as an orderly at St. John's Hospital in Fargo from 1970 - 1973 and then worked as a registered nurse at St. John's Hospital from 1973 - 1975. He was then hired as Director of Nursing at Tri-County Hospital in Wadena, MN from 1975 - 1986.
On March 31, 1986, George accepted the position of Administrator of the Granite Falls Municipal Hospital and Manor. He so enjoyed serving the community of Granite Falls in this capacity and was also involved in numerous church and community committees and boards. George was an advocate for rural healthcare serving on various committees within the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA). He also sat on the MHA Board of Directors and was chairman in 2009. He served as President of the Medi-Sota Healthcare Consortium for 10 years, served as a charter member of the MN Rural Health Cooperative Board of Directors and Southern Minnesota Area Health Education Center. He received the Chamber of Commerce Boss of the Year award in 1992, the Stephen Rogness Distinguished Service Award from the MHA in 2010 and the Bruce and Denise Rueben Courage Award from the MHA in 2015. He was a hard worker, a devoted and loving husband, father and grandfather. George, in his leisure time, loved to take his boat or pontoon for long, relaxing rides around the lake near his lake home in Perham, MN. Sadly, George had just celebrated his retirement a few short weeks ago.
Following complications of a rapid onset of pneumonia, George died peacefully at Methodist Hospital in Rochester, MN, on Sunday, January 17, 2016. He was 65 years of age.
Surviving family include his wife Carol of Granite Falls, MN; his children- Sarah (& Travis) Hermanson of Eagan, MN, Chris (& Sarah) Gerlach of Crystal, MN and Greg Gerlach (& his significant other- Lara Yound) of Fargo, MN; his five grandchildren- Noah and Carter Hermanson and Amara, Railey and Kira Gerlach; sisters Rosemary Brown of Lancaster, CA and Patricia (& Frank) Witte of Fargo, ND; brothers Gerry (& Joyce) Gerlach of Moorhead, MN and Vaughan (& Wendy) Gerlach also of Moorhead, MN, and sister-in-law Sharon Gerlach of Fargo, ND and numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding George in death were his parents; his grandparents- Albert & Olga Gerlach and William & Adelaide Vaughan; a brother Albert and his father and mother-in-law Glenn & Mavis Starr.
Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m., with a prayer service at 5 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 21, at Granite Falls Lutheran Church. Visitation will continue from 9:30-10:30 a.m., followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Jan. 22, at the church. Burial will be in St. Andrew Catholic Cemetery in Granite Falls.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Granite Falls Hospital or Granite Falls Manor.
Arrangements by Wing-Bain Funeral Home in Granite Falls.
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