Florence – Gerald L. Dierking, 90, while at his home in Florence, MT went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Sunday, August 2nd, 2020. He was born December 17, 1929, in Elgin, Illinois, the son of the late Harold and Hazel Dierking.
Gerald “Jerry” was raised in Illinois. He graduated from Elgin High School in 1948.
After high school, Gerald attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. He had a beautiful singing voice and often led the singing and sang solos and duets with his sister Marjorie at Elgin Bible Church. He traveled with the gospel team at Moody Bible Institute as song leader and soloist.
He married Constance B. Colcord in August of 1950. They were high school sweethearts and were married for nearly 70 years.
In 1950, he joined the Air Force and was a staff sergeant stationed in Wichita Falls, Texas, as an aircraft instruments instructor. He was honorably discharged in 1954 and moved back to Elgin.
After his time in the service, he joined the Elgin Police Department as a patrolman. Later he transferred to Kane County Sheriff’s Department as an investigator. He then was appointed as Chief of Police in South Elgin, IL, and remained in that position until the family’s move to Northern Wisconsin in 1967.
In Wisconsin, he owned and operated the Conover Standard gas station. He then sold the gas station and decided to go into business for himself, opening the Phelps Small Engine Shop next to his home. He spent many years fixing lawnmowers and boat engines for the local folks as well as the many vacationers. He also had a bait shop and plowed snow during the winter as well as doing security checks for many vacation homes surrounding Phelps.
When Jerry and Connie retired they enjoyed many trips to Montana in their travel trailer. In 1999, they moved to Florence, MT to be near their three children and their families.
Jerry was an avid hunter and fisherman. He loved to hunt and fish with his family and friends. He was a horseman and horse trainer for over 46 years. He was also a great cook and an enthusiastic gardener. He had a passion for trying to grow the perfect apple tree.
Jerry is survived by his wife Connie of Florence; two sons, Douglas and wife Doreen of Great Falls, and Brian and wife Lynn of Florence; one daughter, Janice and husband Rory of Missoula; eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his two sisters, Marjorie Carlson of Belvidere, IL and Barbara Schut of Canadian Lakes, MI and his sister-in-law Beatrice Dierking of Eagle River, WI. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Dorothy Hess and his brother Robert Dierking.
A graveside service with military honors was held on Monday, August 10, 2020 at the Western Montana State Veterans Cemetery.
The family would like to thank Dr. Jenny Murney and Dr. Sarah Scott for their many years of dedicated medical care of Gerald.
The family suggests that memorials be made to Valley Christian School, 2526 Sunset Dr., Missoula MT 59804. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.