Dolores was born Nov. 20, 1925, the daughter of Anthon and Cecilia (Fix) Bedel of Wall Lake, Iowa. She attended country school and graduated from Wall Lake High School. After graduation, she chose to stay on her parents' farm and care for them.
She also worked at the Wall Lake Savings Bank and in her spare time was a bookkeeper for several Wall Lake businesses and delivered groceries throughout the community.
On Nov. 11, 1963, she and Kenneth W. Gerdes were united in marriage at Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church, in Merrill. After a honeymoon, they settled in Le Mars, where they owned and operated Gerdes Pharmacy Inc. until 1990.
On Aug. 18, 1966, Dolores and Ken welcomed twins, Kenneth Jon (KJ) and Kandace. Over the next 19 months, Dolores devoted every moment to "the twins." On March 18, 1968, KJ was taken to heaven, a significant loss to Dolores.
Dolores' most fulfilling work was as a wife and mother. Dolores' deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary was best demonstrated through her daily actions of passion and love, as a wife to Ken and a mother to Kandace.
Dolores was an active member and daily Mass attendee at St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars. She also was a member of the Altar Rosary Society and worked at the St. James Smorgasbord every year.
Dolores is survived by her husband, Kenneth of Le Mars; daughter, Kandace of Denver; sister, Syvilla (Harold) Kestel of Storm Lake; and, numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her son, Kenneth Jon; her brothers Aloysius, Gontran, and Lester; and her parents.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, at St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars, with the Revs. Matt Hewitt, Richard Ries and James Tigges presiding. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Le Mars.
Visitation will be after 3 p.m. today (Monday) at St. James Catholic Church. A 4 p.m. parish rosary and 7 p.m. scriptural wake service will also be held at the Church Monday evening. There will be one hour of visitation prior to Mass at the church. The Feuerstein Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund will be established in memory of Dolores Gerdes, to be given to her favorite charities. Memorials may be directed to Kenneth Gerdes at 36 12th St. S.W., Le Mars, Iowa 51031.
Dolores always believed in the power of prayer and would often be seen with her devotionals in hand. She would want all to remember her belief that all should place their trust in the Heavenly Father.