Rueben Leonard Gerding, age 81 of Elrosa, died after complications from a stroke on Monday, March 9, 2015 at the St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 14 at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Elrosa with Rev. Mark Ostendorf officiating. Interment will be in the parish cemetery.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Elrosa. Parish prayers will be held at 4 p.m. followed by the Catholic Order of Foresters and the Knights of Columbus at 7 p.m. Friday evening at church.
Rueben Leonard Gerding was born on May 30, 1933 in Getty Township, the youngest child of eight to Hubert and Rose (Deters) Gerding. He grew up on the family farm near Elrosa and attended a country school northeast of the farm until the eighth grade. He was proud of being the spelling bee champ and enjoyed mathematics in school. In 1949 when Rueben was 16 years old, his father died leaving his brother, Wilfred, and him to attend to the family farm along with their mother.
On August 31, 1954 Rueben was united in marriage to Valeria Pauline Thull at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in New Munich. They made their home on the Gerding family farm where they lived until retiring to their home in Elrosa in 1998. Together, they were able to share in 60+ years of marriage. They were blessed with eight children. Rueben deeply loved his wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and his Catholic faith. Going to church every morning was very important to him. He worked hard and was always on the go. He also loved farming and was a great salesman that could sell just about anything. In fact he was still selling seed corn until the day he passed after 47 years of being in the business. In addition, he witched water, hauled cattle, hauled gravel and always lent a helping hand to those in need. Rueben still enjoyed going to the farm to work every chance he got. In the last years, health conditions prevented him from doing work on the farm. Aside from all this work, Rueben did find time to have some fun. He enjoyed playing "St. Nick" for the children around the Elrosa area, playing cards, softball, bowling, going to the casino, up to Bucky's Bar for coffee clutch in the mornings after church and sleeping. In addition, he loved spending time with his family and friends. He could visit with just about anyone and always had a story to tell.
Survivors include his loving wife of over 60 years, Valeria Gerding of Elrosa; children, Hubert (Cathy) Gerding of Hawick, David Gerding (Nancy Skindelien) of Willmar, Sandra (Daryl) Jensen of Turtle Lake, Wisconsin, Keith Gerding (Cindy Libbesmeier) of St. Cloud, Sheila (Patrick) Jaeger of Elrosa, Chad (Tamie) Gerding of Victoria, and Michelle (Jeffrey) Schmitz of Paynesville; 17 grandchildren, Christine and Steven Gerding, Eric and Troy Gerding, Kelli Brown, Nicole Johnson, Mackenzie and Megan Jensen, Austin, Adam, Amber, and Anna Jaeger, Alaina, Myah, and Aiden Gerding, and Lydia and Siena Schmitz; two great-grandchildren, Mikyla and Bailee Gerding; sister, Lillian Schoenberg of Melrose; brother, Raymond Gerding of Cold Spring; and sisters-in-law, Tillie Gerding of Cold Spring and Rita Gerding of Melrose.
Rueben was preceded in death by his parents; son, Steven Gerding on October 3, 1961; brothers, Wilfred, Robert, and Elmer Gerding; and two infant sisters, Bertha and Bernice Gerding.
Serving as casket bearers will be Eric Gerding, Troy Gerding, Christine Gerding, Steven Gerding, Kelli Brown, Austin Jaeger, Adam Jaeger, and Megan Jensen. Cross bearer will be Mackenzie Jensen and Scripture Bearer will be Nicole Johnson. Gift bearers will be Alaina, Myah, and Aiden Gerding, Lydia and Siena Schmitz, and Anna Jaeger. Servers will be Adam and Amber Jaeger and serving as lector and Eucharistic Minister will be Sheila Jaeger.