By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Russell Eugene Gerdes
June 12, 1927 March 1, 2010
Russell “Russ” Gerdes passed away at Emanuel Medical Center surrounded by his family after a courageous battle against cancer.
He was born in Wesley, Iowa to Henry and Pearl Gerdes, moving with his family to Hilmar in 1941 and to Turlock in 1942. Just prior to his 1945 graduation from Turlock High School, he and five classmates joined the U.S. Maritime Service, with basic training at Catalina Island. He sailed for two years in the Pacific, including Australia.
In 1948, Russ married his high school sweetheart, Anne Vrh. In 1952, during the Korean Conflict, he joined the U.S. Army and was stationed at Camp Roberts. He finished his two-year term at Castle Air Force Base in Atwater. In 1955, his son, Dale, was born.
Excluding his military service, Russ always worked in construction starting in 1948, receiving his contractor’s license in 1963. Russell Gerdes Construction, Inc., was established the same year, and in 1973, his son, Dale, joined him in business. Many commercial and steel buildings, as well as custom homes, bear the mark of a master craftsman.
A highly respected family and business man, Russ always took great pride in his work. He received great pleasure in making people happy, always doing anything for honest and decent people.
Russ and his wife enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and Canada. He especially enjoyed hunting with his son in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. He always looked forward to a family gathering, particularly when homemade ice cream was included. As long as he had enough money for coffee with his friends, he was a happy man. He and Anne were members of the All Seasons RV Club and First Presbyterian Church in Turlock.
Russ is survived by his wife of 61 years, Anne Gerdes and his son, Dale Gerdes, both of Turlock. He is also survived by local nephews and nieces, Mike Justus, Phil (Jean) Gerdes, Bruce (Barbara) Gerdes, Tom (Linda) Gerdes, Janice (Jim) Virgo, Jim (Valarie) Fritz, Fred (Anita) Talkington, Aaron Vrh and many more across the U.S. and Canada. He was preceded in death by his parents; and siblings, Wilma Fritz, Dean Gerdes, Don Gerdes and Darlene Justus.
Visitation will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, March 7 at Turlock Funeral Home, 425 N. Soderquist Rd., Turlock.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 8 at First Presbyterian Church, 2619 N. Berkeley Ave., Turlock. Entombment will follow at Sunset Mausoleum, Turlock Memorial Park.
Memorial contributions may be made to Stanford/Emanuel Oncology Center, 1880 E. Tuolumne Rd., Turlock, CA 95382 or First Presbyterian Church, 2619 N. Berkeley Ave., Turlock, CA 95382.
Please share your condolences with the family at
Arrangements are entrusted to Turlock Memorial Park & Funeral Home.