Judith Ann (Buelt) Gerken passed away peacefully Nov. 29, 2019, surrounded by her loving husband of 57 years and seven children. Judy was born March 13, 1941, in Ottumwa, Iowa, to parents Bernard (Ben) and Marita Buelt.

Judy graduated in 1959 from St. Bernard’s High School in Breda, Iowa, and in 1962 from St. Catherine’s School of Nursing in Omaha, Nebraska. Judy married LeRoy Gerken on Sept. 15, 1962, at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Breda, Iowa. LeRoy and Judy moved to Breda in 1975 and raised seven highly successful children, who blessed them with 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. LeRoy and Judy retired to Columbia in 2006 to be near family.

Judy was a devout Catholic, loved reading and sewing, and cherished spending time with her large family.

Judy is survived by her husband, LeRoy; four sons, Todd Gerken (Jodie) of Parkville, Scott Gerken (Tamara) of Sharpsburg, Georgia, Jeff Gerken (Jennifer) of Lithia, Florida, and Brian Gerken (Jody) of Apollo Beach, Florida; three daughters, Beth Arey (Tracy) of Columbia, Leigh Lewis (Ben) of Seward, Nevada, and Rachel Mallett (Chad) of Columbia; mother, Marita Buelt of Carroll, Iowa; 17 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; two brothers; and two sisters. She was preceded in death by her father, Ben Buelt.

Cremation will be conducted by Memorial Funeral Home in Columbia, with Mass of Christian Burial at noon Dec. 6 at Our Lady of Lourdes in Columbia, followed by a reception with the family.

Online condolences may be shared at www.memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.

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