03/22/10 — HOWARD C. GERKEN

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March 10, 1933-March 21, 2010

Howard Clarence Gerken, 77, passed away Sunday at Wayne Memorial Hospital surrounded by his family.

Funeral services will be Tuesday at 7 p.m. at New Hope United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Todd Kruegar and the Rev. Mark Thomas officiating. Interment will be Wednesday at 11 a.m. in Snow Hill Cemetery with full military honors.

Howard was born in Napoleon, Ohio, March 10, 1933, to the late John F. Gerken and Ruth Kline Gerken.

He had attended St. John Lutheran School and graduated from Ridgeville High School.

At the age of 18, Howard enlisted in the United States Air Force and served in Wisconsin, Colorado, Germany, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, California and North Carolina. While stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, he married Peggy Wade and they moved to Whellus Air Force Base in Tripoli, Libya, along with Mike, Jeff, Mark and later John was added.

Later they moved to Grand Forks Air Force Base, where he retired as a master sergeant after 20 years of service. He was an EOD specialist.

Howard also retired from DuPont after 23 years of service. He enjoyed spending time with his family and had special place in his heart for his grandchildren.

Howard was a fan of the New York Yankees and the University of North Carolina basketball. He also got great pleasure in gardening and building things with his hands.

Howard is survived by his wife, Peggy Wade Gerken; his children, Michael Ray Thomas and wife, Deb, of Florida, Jeffrey Wade Thomas and wife, Debbie Lynn, of Goldsboro, Mark Haywood Thomas and wife, Tracy, of Goldsboro and John Howard Gerken and wife, Angie, of Goldsboro; his grandchildren, Rebekah Sorensen, Miranda Johnston, Tiffany Thomas, Shane Thomas, Keli Gerken, Katlyn Gerken, Kourtni Gerken and James Calab Thomas; four great-grandchildren; his sisters, Marlene Patterson, Jeanette Holers, Rosie Helberg and Karen Maassel; and his brother, Kenneth Gerken.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his stepmother, Ada Gerken, and his grandson, Cameron Gerken.

The family will receive friends Tuesday from 6 to 7 p.m. and also following the service at New Hope United Methodist Church. At other times the family will be at his home, 2605 Burtus Drive in Goldsboro.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.seymourfuneralhome.com.


Published in Obituaries on March 22, 2010 1:48 PM