Laverne 'Vern" Gerking

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Laverne "Vern" Gerking
Jan. 19, 1926 - March 15, 2012

Laverne "Vern" W. Gerking, 86, formerly of Milton-Freewater, died March 15, 2012, at the Walla Walla General Hospital. Funeral services will be held Friday, March 23, 11 a.m., at the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home Chapel, 902 S. Main St., Milton-Frewater. Officiating will be Pastor Quinton Kimbrow of the Wesley United Methodist Church. Contributions can be made to the church or to the Inland Northwest Chapter Alzheimer's Association through the funeral home.

Vern was born Jan. 19, 1926, in Walla Walla. He was the son of Wilbur and Bessie Ferguson Gerking. He attended school in Waitsburg and Walla Walla and graduated from Wa-Hi in 1944. Vern enlisted in the United States Navy in 1944 and received his honorable discharge in 1946.

On Nov. 13, 1949, he married Helen Ullmann in Walla Walla. The couple moved to Milton-Freewater in 1952 to make their home. He worked for Hagedorn Brothers Lumber as a sawyer in Walla Walla and also for Continental Can Company. He later worked for Otto TV in Milton-Freewater and with partners Eugene Hohn and Junior Wrinkle they purchased the business and named it GHW TV.

Vern enjoyed working with wood, he owned his own sawmill, built a log cabin on Weston Mountain and crafted furniture for his family. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was a member of the Wesley United Methodist Church and the American Legion Post 24.

He is survived by his wife, Helen Gerking of College Place; daughters and sons-in-law, Jackie Gates of Laughlin, Nev., Janice and Dwayne Palumbo of Walla Walla, and Jeannie and Jeff Frantum of La Grande, Ore.; son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Greg Gerking of Portland; brothers, Lynden Gerking of Walla Walla and Marvin Gerking of Blanchard, Idaho; seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

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