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Obituary for Charlotte L. Gerdes

Charlotte Louise (Hartley) Gerdes, 90, departed peacefully on December 30, 2023, in Lyngblomsten Care Center, St. Paul, Minnesota, surrounded by family. Charlotte was born on July 17, 1933, in Caledonia, Minnesota, to Allen and Ella Hartley. She was raised on the Mt. Hope Farm near New Albin, Iowa. She is one of 4 siblings. One of her earliest memories was attending and listening to her mother play the organ at Mt. Hope Church where we lay her to rest.

Visitation and Funeral services will be held at rural Mt. Hope Presbyterian Church 2574 Church Rd. New Albin, Iowa on Saturday January 6, 2024. Visitation starting at 11 am. Funeral and burial beginning at 12 pm. With lunch in the Church basement. Rev. Ben Hartley officiating. Also a later memorial service will be held at Lyngblomsten Care Center Chapel at 1415 Almond Ave. St. Paul, MN on Feb. 15 at 4 pm.

Charlotte’s early life included attending a country school until 6th grade and then graduated from Waukon High School. She completed 1 year of Nursing school at Viterbo University. Charlotte married Herbert Gerdes in 1953 and moved to the Beaver Ridge Farm outside of Caledonia.

Charlotte's journey was one of humility and gratitude. She shared stories and sang songs, effortlessly spreading the good news of Jesus Christ to all who knew her.  Her love knew no bounds, and her kindness resonated deeply with those fortunate enough to have known her.

Her generous and caring spirit was shown in a mission trip to Haiti with Send International, being a foster parent, providing a safe house for abused women for Women’s Resources, writing articles for the Message of Hope newsletter and was a longtime volunteer at the Caledonia Care Center. Charlotte was a home health aide for Houston County Public Health. She always said,” I want to be useful”.

Charlotte enjoyed many trips to California, Montana, and Indiana to visit Connie and family, bus tours, singing in choirs, playing scrabble and playing piano and organ. She enjoyed watching children play without interruption. She said,” That’s what children do best”. She enjoyed embroidery, sewing, spending time with family and friends and the outdoors. Charlotte treasured singing Christian Hymns.

Beverly was Charlotte's primary care provider in her final years, with her husband Craig, and they are grateful for the time they were able to share together. The family would like to express gratitude to Craig’s family and to all the staff and volunteers at Lyngblomsten for making life in St. Paul pleasant for Charlotte.

Charlotte is survived by children Connie (Ray) Quan, Will (Carol) Gerdes, Dean (Phoebe) Gerdes and Beverly (Craig) Gerdes Larson, and foster daughter Kathe Beneventi. Charlotte's nurturing spirit extended to her grandchildren Mark Quan, Lisa Quan Alfarajat, Ken (Michele) Quan, Cheryl Quan, Nathan (Theresa) Gerdes, Jonathan (Elisabeth) Gerdes, Joy (Allan) Huigens, Noah (Denise) Gerdes, Jeana (Jerry) Flores, Mary (Zachary) Kasten, and Sarah (Ben) Steuart, Grace Gerdes, Jeremy (Courtney) Gerdes, Caleb (Monique) Gerdes Graceheart, Jessalyn (Hans) Voll, Gabriel ( Haley) Gerdes, 35 great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild, She is also survived by brother Loren Hartley, sister-in-laws Marlene Hartley and Verna Gerdes, cousins, nieces and nephews, friends and neighbors.

Charlotte reunites with her parents, Allen and Ella Hartley, her husband, Herbert Gerdes, her siblings, Ramona Hennings, and Donald Hartley, and brother in-laws Dick Hennings, Gorden Gerdes and sister in laws Lorreen Fokema, Eleanor Ostrum, and Gisela (Berger) Hartley.

In lieu, of flowers please consider donations to Send International.

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