Marlene Gerst, 85, of Burlington died at 6:05 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at Prairie Ridge Care and Rehab Center in Mediapolis.
Born April 3, 1933 in Macomb, IL, she was the daughter of William Johns and Cora V. (Riddle) Johns Nelson. She married Ernest T. Gerst on June 11, 1966 in Macomb, IL.
Marlene was employed as a production worker for Champion for 33 years and later at the U.A.W. Hall. She was a member of St. John's United Church of Christ. She enjoyed attending Blackhawk basketball games and was an avid Hawkeye and Cardinals fan. She belonged to the United Auto Workers Union and was inducted into the Des Moines County Democratic Party Hall of Fame. Marlene had her own opinions in life and was always right.
Survivors include her husband Ernest; children, Mona Shaw Burlington, Jacky Wistrom rural Sperry, Mark Shaw Argentina, Sandra Wasson rural Burlington, Jackie Smith Ridgecrest, CA, Sharon Malone Burlington, Edward Gerst rural Burlington, April Schulthies West Burlington and Colin Gerst rural Danville; twenty one grandchildren; twenty seven great grandchildren (with one on the way); and one great-great grandchild.
She was preceded in death by her parents; an infant son, Eric; two brothers, Bernard and Norman Johns; and a step brother, Edward Nelson.
The funeral service for Mrs. Gerst will be 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 10th at Lunning Chapel. Rev. Will Ryan will officiate. Interment will be in the Apostolic Christian Cemetery in Oakville. Family will receive friends 5-7 pm, Monday, April 9th at Lunning Chapel.
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What a lady! Marlene was a wonderful wife,mother,friend and neighbor and always lit up the room with her opinion on topics that she truly believed in! We will miss you!
Marlene made our union ( local 1237 UAW) Strong..... you were a great leader and inspiration...
I still remember using the water pump, outside at the old house. Safe travels, grandma.
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