Obituaries for Friday January 11th

Ernest Eugene ‘Ernie’ Gerst, 81, of Wapello, was welcomed into Heaven by his wife, Judy, on Wednesday afternoon, January 9, 2019, at the Klein Center in West Burlington. The son of Eugene ‘Ted’ and Sarah Irene Pontzius Gerst, he was born on May 12, 1937 in Louisa County. Ernie married Judith Faye ‘Judy’ Malcom on November 14, 1957 in Oakville. She preceded him in death on October 29, 2012.

Ernie graduated from Oakville High School in 1955. He was a farmer in Oakville for many years before driving a semi for Oakville Feed & Grain. He then worked for the Louisa County Conservation and drove the school bus for the Wapello Community School.

He had been a member of the former Lions Club in Oakville. He enjoyed mowing, and earlier with Judy, they enjoyed playing cards, square dancing, and just going places. Ernie was an avid Cardinal fan and Hawkeye fan.

His family includes four sons, Michael (Kay) Gerst of Wayland, Kirk (Judy) Gerst and Keith (Michelle) Gerst both of Wapello, and Ted (Krista) Gerst of Wheatland, Missouri; 19 grandchildren; 15 great grandchildren; his brother, Kenny (Carol) Gerst of Wapello; his sister, Charlotte (Marion) Brown of Eldridge; and a special neighbor, Bev Stephens. He was preceded in death by his parents and wife, Judy.

The funeral ceremony for Ernie Gerst will be held at 1:00 PM on Sunday, January 13, 2019, at the Dudgeon-McCulley Funeral Home in Wapello with Pastor Steven Parker officiating.

The family will meet friends from 6:00 to 8:00 PM on Saturday at the Dudgeon-McCulley Funeral Home.

Cremation will be fulfilled following the funeral.

Memorial gifts will benefit the Louisa County Conservation and a Memorial at the Wapello School.

Condolences may be given and viewed at

Ralph V. Kemp, 80, of Burlington, died at 11:14 PM Wednesday, January 9, 2019, at the Great River Medical Center in West Burlington.

Born April 9, 1938, in Terre Haute Township, IL, he was the son of Laverne B. and Mary Elizabeth Flood Kemp. On August 18, 1957, he married Sheron L. Thacker.

Ralph began his career at Lehigh Leopold Furniture and later worked for Midwest Biscuit Co., which became Shearer’s. He worked there for 30 years.

He graduated from Gladstone-Oquawka High School.

Ralph enjoyed going to auctions and races. He collected Carnival Glass, Budweiser and German Steins. He enjoyed working in the yard and gardening. He was a Fighting Illini fan. Ralph loved his job and considered everyone at work part of his family and was affectionately known as “grandpa” . He was a friend to everyone and was always there whenever someone needed him.

Survivors include his wife, Sheron; three daughters, Terri (Mike Overhake) Goble of Burlington, Sherri (Tim) Peterson of WI, and Brenda Boyd of Burlington; eight grandchildren: Jason, Danielle (Sean), Jenilee (Rich), Derek (Marlis), Tyler (Ashley), Justin (Bethany), Brittney, and Brandon (Adrian); eleven great-grandchildren and one on the way; two sisters, Linda Magnuson of Good Hope, IL, Mary Jo (Larry) Postin of Ellisville, IL; half-sister, Janet (Bill) Sly of Grand Ridge, IL; and half-brother, Wendell (Diane Carrier) Covert of Canton, IL.

He was preceded in death by his parents, step-mother and father, brother, two brothers-in-law and his mother-in-law and father in-law.

Cremation has been entrusted to the care of Prugh~Thielen Crematory.

The family will receive friends from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at Prugh~Thielen Funeral Home.

The memorial service for Ralph will be 1:00 PM Tuesday, January 15, 2019, at Prugh~Thielen Funeral Home with Chaplain Randy Gearhart officiating. A time of food and fellowship will be held in the community room at Prugh~Thielen Funeral Home following the service.

A memorial has been established.

Prugh~Thielen Funeral Home is in care of the arrangements.

A photo tribute can be viewed and condolences can be sent to the family by visiting Ralph’s obituary at

Gary Allen Burden, age 75, of Morning Sun, died with his family surrounding him, Wednesday evening, January 9, 2019, at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in Iowa City. The son of Floyd and Hazel Schweitzer Burden, he was born on March 13, 1943 in South English, Iowa. Gary was married to Linda Holt. On December 17, 1994, he married Cathy King Barker in Morning Sun.

He served in the Iowa National Guard. As a member of the Local 150 Operating Engineers he worked as a crane operator with J & J Steel.

Gary was a member of the Allen Wright Hanft Post 100 American Legion in Columbus Junction, the Columbus Junction Masonic Lodge, and the KAABA Shriners. He enjoyed his John Deere tractors, tractor rides, farming, gardening, camping, fishing, boating, crossword puzzles, and simply being with his family.

His family includes his wife, Cathy; his children, Kelly (Kurt) Hand of Crown Point, Indiana, Melissa Meyer of New London, Amanda Kula of Mt. Pleasant, Shelly Kerr of Iowa City, Shelly (Jamie) Cromer of Wapello, Tom Barker of Wapello, and Stephanie (Mike) Coleman of Oxford; twelve grandchildren; one great grandson; a brother, Kenny (Betty) Burden of New London; and a sister, Jean Roth of Mt. Pleasant. He was preceded in death by his parents; a grandson; and five brothers, Lowell, Bob, Dick, Jack, and Bill.

The funeral ceremony for Gary Burden will be held at 10:30 AM on Monday, January 14, 2019, at the Dudgeon-McCulley Funeral Home in Wapello. Pastor Chris Carr will officiate. Burial will follow at the Elmwood Cemetery in Morning Sun.

The family will meet friends from 4:00 to 7:00 PM on Sunday with Masonic Rites at 4:00 PM at the Dudgeon-McCulley Funeral Home.

Memorial gifts will benefit the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and the Shriners Hospitals.

Condolences may be given and viewed at

Marcella Hardy Reed Ketcham, 83, of LaHarpe, IL died at 1:30am Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at Trinity Medical Center, Rock Island, IL.

She was born July 4, 1935 in Wayland, MO. She married C. Keith Reed on November 20, 1970. He preceded her in death on June 5, 1995. On February 14, 1997 she married Richard Ketcham in Dallas City, IL.
Marcella graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Nauvoo in 1951. She received her Bachelors degree in 1965 and her Master’s Degree in 1985 from WIU.

Her teaching career began in Lomax, IL in 1958. She finished her 35 year career in 1994 at Dallas City Elementary School, touching the lives of hundreds of 2nd and 3rd graders. She was loved by all. She spent the next few years caring for her grandson, Garett. Marcella was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and the church’s Altar and Rosary Society. She enjoyed playing bridge for 40 years, walking around LaHarpe, reading, cross stitch, knitting, quilting and puzzles. She also served on the board of the LaHarpe Carnegie Library.

She is survived by her husband, Richard, one daughter, Jean (Noel) Carden of Dallas City, grandson, Garett Worley, granddaughter, Erica Stewart and three great-grandchildren, all of Dallas City, nine step-children, Steve Ketcham, Colchester, IL, Steph (Fred) Doyle of Warsaw, IL, Andy (Vic) Schelin, Riverdale, IA, Kathy (the late Jim) Ketcham of Danville, IA, Janelle (Mehrdad) Yassan of Grand Prairie, TX, Angela (Mike) Pollock of LaHarpe, Robert (Heather) Ketcham of Dunlap, IL, Randy (Mary) Reed and their son, Dr. Loren Reed and Sheryl (Harry) Baker and their daughter, Meagan Orantes, 23 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, one sister, Bernadette Hardy Brooks, two brothers, Paul and Ralph Hardy and her “2nd” mother, Eleanor Hudson. Also surviving are special nieces, Linda Brooks Housewright, Lila Brooks-Fritz, Julie Brooks Dombo and Jennifer Brooks Edholm and special nephews, Joseph Dean Brooks and James Daniel Brooks.

Marcella was preceded in death by her first husband, Keith, her mother, Clementine Hardy, step-son, Jim Ketcham and nephew, John Robert Brooks.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00am Saturday, January 12, 2019 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Dallas City with Father Tony Trosley officiating. Burial will be in the Harris Cemetery near Dallas City. The family will meet with friends at Banks & Beals Funeral Home in Dallas City, Friday from 5:00 until 6:30pm. The rosary will be recited at 6:30. Memorials may be made to the Sts. Peter and Paul School, LaHarpe Carnegie Library, Hancock County Home Health Agency or the American Cancer Society. To leave a condolence, please visit Marcella’s obituary at