Harlan Henry Geerdes, son of John B. and Jennie (Rientz) Geerdes, was born July 17, 1926 at his parent’s rural home south of Everly, IA. He grew up in the Everly area, and attended the Everly Community School through the 8th Grade.
In September of 1950, Harlan entered the United States Army, serving in Korea and Japan during the Korean Conflict. After being honorably discharged on October 13, 1952, he returned to Everly where he was engaged in farming with his brother, Edwin.
Harlan was united in marriage to Billie Jeanette Zaiser on October 1, 1952 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hartley, IA. Following their marriage, they began farming together near Moneta, IA where they raised their five children: Debra “Deb”, Becky, Tammy, Dawn, and Gary. Along with his farming operation, Harlan also worked at Witt Sales in Spencer, IA. He served as sexton for the Lone Tree Cemetery near Everly for 20 years, and was a long-time member of the Everly American Legion, Everett P. Boyles, Jr. Post #414, and the Everly Lions Club. He was an active member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hartley, serving in different offices, and belonging to several groups within the church.
In November of 2017, Harlan entered the Community Memorial Health Center in Hartley, where he passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, June 23, 2018. There to meet him in heaven were his parents; brother, Bernard (Irene) Geerdes; sisters: Marilyn (Everett) Pearson, Doris (Louis) Wiemers; and brother-in-law, Gary (Carol) Zaiser.
Left to cherish his memory here on earth are his wife, Billie of Hartley; his children: Deb Geerdes and her friend, Pat Salyers of Ceylon, MN, Becky (Amasa) Smith of Council Bluffs, IA, Tammy Elliott of Spencer, IA, Dawn (Jon) Ruehle of Cherokee, IA and Gary (Karen) Geerdes of Santa Rosa, CA; grandchildren: Sgt. Jacob Elliott of the U.S. Marines in Twenty-Nine Palms, CA, Kyle (Emily) Ruehle of Des Moines, IA, Brandon (Erin) Elliott of Everly, IA and Sarah Ruehle of Cherokee, IA; great-grandchildren: Jaelyn, Hunter, Charlotte, Lanette Elliott and Aden Ruehle; his brother, Edwin (Ellen) Geerdes of Spencer, IA; and sister, Janet (Arlyn) Will of Mesa, AZ; many other family and friends.