James 'Jim' Alan Gierke had passion for journalism
James "Jim" Alan Gierke had a lifelong passion for journalism.
Mr. Gierke died Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011, at Washington Regional Hospital in Fayetteville, Ark., after suffering a brain aneurysm two months ago. He was 64.
He was born on Jan. 15, 1947, in Louisiana, Mo., to Victor Albert and Laura Maxwell Gierke.
After graduating from Louisiana High School in 1965, he attended Truman State University and MU.
He served as a board member of the Missouri Press Association and worked at many Missouri newspapers throughout his life.
“He and his family go way back with the Missouri Press Association,” said Doug Crews, the executive director of the Missouri Press Association. “He was a great friend of the MPA.”
Mr. Gierke was the former president and owner of The Louisiana Press-Journal, Press Journal Printing, the Bowling Green Times and weekly newspapers, The Elsberry Democrat, the Troy Free Press, the Hermann Advertiser Courier and the New Haven Leader. He was also the founder of the Lincoln County Journal in Troy.
“He set the foundation for these newspapers,” Crews said.
“His greatest accomplishment were those newspapers,” said Betty Spaar, owner of The Odessan.
Mr. Gierke also served on the board of directors at the Columbia Missourian before it was owned by MU.
Along with Mr. Gierke’s extensive career in journalism, he was close to the community. He served as a president of the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, the Louisiana Industrial Development Corporation and on the board of directors of Mercantile Bank.
He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church.
“He wore lots of hats and was a very active member within the community,” Crews said.
In 2002, Gierke retired and spent most of his time at Sunrise Beach in Lake of the Ozarks.
Mr. Gierke is survived by one son, Brent Alan Gierke of Bentonville, Ark., and wife, Sue; two sisters, Carolyn Neunuebel and husband, Paul, of Huntsville, Texas, and Margaret Crawford and husband, Jim, of McCall, Idaho; and three grandchildren, Jacob, Carly and Rachael Gierke.
His parents and two of his sons, Jacob Adam Gierke and James Christian Gierke, died earlier.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Collier Funeral Home, 117 Barnard Drive, in Louisiana. Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home. Burial will be at the Riverview Cemetery in Louisiana. Pastor Jeffrey Dock of Trinity Lutheran Church will officiate.
Donations may be sent to Trinity Lutheran Church in care of Collier Funeral Homes Inc., 117 Barnard Drive, Louisiana, MO 63353.
Condolences can be posted at collierfuneral.com.