Gene was born March 4, 1929, to Harry and Ruby (Critser) Gerard . Following graduation from Kennebec High School in 1947 he joined his parents in farming south of Kennebec. On July 8, 1949, he married his only sweetheart Esther Venekamp, youngest daughter of John and Ethel Venekamp, at Presho Methodist Church. Most of their married life was spent south of Kennebec farming and ranching as they raised their 6 children and actively participated in the community. Following Gene’s retirement, they moved into Kennebec. Gene served on several boards through the years including township, school, production organizations and the Kennebec Elevator. He was a staunch supporter of the Republican Party and greatly enjoyed those political discussions he passionately initiated.
Gene spent the last 3 years residing at Sanford Care Center in Chamberlain. There he continued to enjoy discussions and storytelling of the years that had been lived and the history of our area and of course politics, still the staunch Republican.
Gene passed away on August 5, 2020 at Sanford Care Center in Chamberlain at the age of 91. He is survived by Esther, his wife of 71 years, and his 6 children & their families; Delores (Raymond) Symens, Pamela (Tim Long) Michalek, Dennis (Linda) Gerard , Douglas (Tammye Hutton) Gerard , Phillip (Shelley) Gerard, and Donald (Connie) Gerard; 14 grandchildren, 27 greatgrandchildren, and 2 great-great grandsons; his only sibling Margorie (Gene) Halvorson; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents Charles and Mary Gerard, maternal grandparents Frank and Martha Critser; parents Harry and Ruby Gerard, great grandson Tayler Symens, son-in-law John Michalek, daughter-in-law Shirley Heffner Gerard, and grandson Laramie Gerard.
Per L.E.’s directive there will be no funeral services. The family gathered at the Methodist Church in Kennebec Saturday, August 8th to greet family and friends.