Gerald “Jerry” J. Ellerbach, 81, of Holy Cross passed away unexpectedly Saturday, April 6, 2019, at home.
Visitation will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thursday, Apr. 11, 2019, at Kramer Funeral Home in Holy Cross. The Farley Scherrman-Peterson American Legion Post # 656 will conduct a veteran salute at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Friday at the funeral home prior to funeral services.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, April 12, 2019, at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Holy Cross with burial in the church cemetery with military honors accorded by the American Legion Post #656. Rev. Noah Diehm will officiate.
Jerry was born on July 23, 1937, the youngest child of five sons and two daughters born to George and Regina (Hullerman) Ellerbach on a farm near Holy Cross, Iowa. He obtained his education in the catholic school system in Holy Cross and assisted his father on the family farm.
Jerry joined the Army Reserve in March of 1958. He received basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. He was transferred to Fort Ord, CA until September of that year. On November 1, 1961, during the Berlin Crisis, Jerry was recalled to active duty and stationed at Fort Lewis, WA until August 31, 1962. He was honorably discharged as PFC in December, 1963.
Jerry returned to farm with his father at Holy Cross. On August 27, 1966 he married Joan Diers at St. Boniface Catholic Church, New Vienna. They farmed together for more than 34 years until Joan became ill and moved on to heaven on March 21, 2001. Later that year Jerry became reacquainted with a friend from his youth, Darleen J. (Wolf) VanDenBerg from Bankston, who was living out west in the Rocky Mountains where she worked as a teacher. Through correspondence and visits back and forth, they decided to wed on August 3, 2002 in Durango, CO. Jerry became an instant step-father and grandfather. He built a new home in Holy Cross where he and Darleen reside. He still enjoyed farm life, and he and Darleen traveled around the United States, especially to the West where many of their family resides.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Darleen, 4 step-children: Randy (Kristi) VanDenBerg of Durango, Co, Colleen (Gary) Foust of Zwingle, Darwin VanDenBerg of LaPlata, NM, Troy (Kim) VanDenBerg of Dyersville, 9 step-grand-children, 9 step-great-grandchildren, a sister, Kay Daly of Bankston, and many other extended relatives.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Joan, siblings: Lawrence (Rose) Ellerbach, William (Gladys) Ellerbach, Ernest (Dorothy) Ellerbach, Bernard (Margaret) Ellerbach, and Bernice (Leander Steffen, Gib Honkomp) Steffen-Honkomp; brothers-in-law: Jim Daly, Daniel Wolf and Paul Wolf.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.kramerfuneral.com