Daniel Gerdes, 69, of Rapid City, beloved spouse, father, brother, and uncle, died Sunday, August 27, 2023, in his home.
The youngest of 3 children, Daniel Delmar Gerdes was born July 30, 1954, to Delmar and Maureen (Wherry) Gerdes in Faulkton, SD. Daniel moved around a bit throughout his life. Although he was born in Faulkton, he resided in Wecota, SD with family from 1954-1961. From 1961-1963 he resided in Timberlake, SD. He went through 2nd and 3rd grade there. As a devout Catholic and storyteller, he always talked about playing softball with the Presentation Sisters.
From 1963-1972 Dan found his home in Miller, SD. Dan has too many stories to share about this place and the people who live there. Daniel’s high school record was spectacular. In 1972 he graduated with a cacophony of accolades. Dan was involved in everything from music to sports. He played football, basketball, baseball, and ran track. In band, he played the trombone. One of his crowning achievements was being a shining member of the miraculous 1972 Miller Rustler state champion basketball team. This team was inducted into the South Dakota High School Hall of Fame as being one of the best teams in the history of the state. His jersey numbers were 44 and 45 and he was a starting post position player for the team with an absolutely impressive record. He had one of the highest free throw completion percentages for that year.
Dan Gerdes went to the University of South Dakota in 1972 and graduated with a B.S. in 1976. At his time there he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Dan was the kitchen manager of the fraternity house while he was there and worked as a house boy for a sorority. He loved to go to fraternity events throughout his life. One year, he was the only fraternity member on his float for the Dakota Day parade. His time in Vermillion and the friends that he made would forever be loved and spoken about.
As soon as he graduated from college, he moved to Mission, SD working for the State in Child Protective Services. He adored the Native people and their culture. Dan loved their community gardens and special friends that he made while there.
His next stop was Deadwood, SD where he transferred with his state job. So many close friends were made there. Dan had too many stories from this place that it could not be fit here. Just know that if you ever had the pleasure to work with Dan, he could recite all your shenanigans with great color and detail. He was the best storyteller. While he was there, he played trombone in the municipal band. When Dan would speak of Deadwood, he only had fun memories. When his time there concluded he moved to Rapid City, SD where he would continue to work for social services.
In Rapid City, he met his wife, Nanette Gerdes. Dan was a saddle-shoed social butterfly back in the day. He would do flips down the office isle, made the best “Friday popcorn”, had a rubber chicken in his office, and asked coworkers if they, “Want a Fresca?” to lighten the workday. Dan made work fun and was a character in every form of the word- just a genuine joy.
Dan married Nan on July 29, 1989, and to that union were born Caitlin Joy and Spencer Daniel. His children were his everything. Dan was the most patient, loving, loyal Dad. His kids were raised right and will always have their father with them. Nan will forever miss him.
Dan is survived by his wife Nanette (Oviatt) and children Caitlin and Spencer. Companions at home are Darby, Penny Lane, Sophia, and Ophelia. Those four are still waiting for Dan to come home. Sisters: Connie Schroeder (Steve) and Terri Bettin (Scott). Sisters-in-law: Jo Sherley and Gretchen Foley (Pat). Dan also has a host of nieces and nephews, friends, and neighbors.
Daniel was preceded in death by his parents, Delmar and Maureen, several uncles, and aunts, along with two brothers-in-law.
“Because my Father loved his soul, love is the whole and more than all” “Love never dies”
“Rest in power”