BENKELMAN, Nebraska -- Lucille Maxine Mulvany Gerdes was born Oct. 19, 1919, in Hastings, Nebraska, to Benjamin Harrison Mulvany and Mabel Annie Nelson Mulvany. She died on Aug, 11, 2011, at the age of 91 after entering the Sarah Ann Hester Home, October of 2002. As a young girl, she lived in Wyoming, Kansas and Nebraska, as her father was a shoe cobbler and laborer.
Lucille attended Hastings Public School, Edison District 37 and graduated from Benkelman High School in Benkelman, Nebraska, with the class of 1937. She received a scholarship to a Kansas City college for her poems and writings. Her choice was to stay in Benkelman and marry a local farmer, Foster Finley Gerdes on Oct. 11, 1939, at the Rawlins County Courthouse in Atwood, Kansas, with Chester and Helen Gerdes as witness, the newlyweds moved to the Gerdes homestead in Rawlins county. She and Foster celebrated 56 years of married life before his death on Dec. 12, 1995.
Lucille was baptized on May 23, 1960, at Zion Lutheran Church in Benkelman and was confirmed on Nov. 27, 1960.
Lucille was a homemaker but contributed to the family income by selling laundry service, crafts, cleaning houses, and always enjoying a good auction or garage sale. At a young age she also helped in her father's shoe store, the Farrell market, and Sawdon café. She was primarily a homemaker and especially enjoyed history of her family and her beloved Benkelman. Her family has shared many of her history records with the Dundy County Museum.
Born to Foster and Lucille Maxine Gerdes were LaVera Maxine, Jerrell Foster and John Leon. LaVera was born with meningitis that lead to her death at age 3. Also preceding her in death were her husband Foster, her mother and father, three sisters Wauneta Mulvany, Lorene Sawdon, Berdeina Farrell and a grandson Christopher Gerdes.
Survivors include her sons, Jerrell and wife, Charline of Franklin, Nebraska and John and wife, Marie of Dallas, Texas. Four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, Patrick Gerdes, wife Christy and Courtney and Nicole; Shelley Kahrs, husband Toby and Latham and Brayton and Makaylin; Brian Gerdes and wife Kerrie, Matthew and Samuel; and Meredith Knight-Gerdes, Special nieces Bernelda Nelson of Bartley and Neala Carmichael of St. Francis, Kansas, and other relatives and friends.
Memorials may be given in her name.
Visitation will be Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011, 2-6 p.m. at Forch Funeral Chapel in Benkelman.
Funeral services will be Monday, Aug. 15, 2011, 11 a.m. MDT at Zion Lutheran Church in Benkelman with Pastor George Matthews officiating. Burial will be in the Benkelman Cemetery.
Forch Funeral Home of Benkelman is in charge of the arrangements.