Janet Gerdes died on Wednesday, April 11, 2012, in Prescott Valley, Ariz., after courageously battling cancer. Janet was born on Sept. 10, 1933, in Los Angeles, Calif., the youngest of the three children of Frank and Bernice (Davis) Harvey.
Janet's family moved to Prescott in 1945, where she graduated from Prescott Senior High School in 1951. She moved to Long Beach, Calif., and attended Long Beach City College and Long Beach State, graduating in January 1955 with a bachelor's degree in education.
Vernon and Janet met in 1948. They were married on June 27, 1953, at St. Cyprian Catholic Church in Long Beach, Calif. Janet was a very loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She made many good lifelong friends. Janet made Vernon's life so complete and worthwhile. He has said many times, "I got the girl of my dreams." They shared many good times together. He will miss her very much but knows she is in heaven.
Janet is survived by Vernon, her beloved husband of 58 years, of Prescott Valley; her brothers James (Shirley) Harvey, Jeff Storm and George Storm; sister Ellie (Steve) Huddleston; sons Brian Gerdes of Elgin, Ill., Erick Gerdes (Megan) of Louisville, Ky., Glenn Gerdes (Penni) of Ridgecrest, Calif., Steven Gerdes (Rich) of San Luis Obispo, Calif., Jeffrey Gerdes (Sara) of Commerce City, Colo., Michael Gerdes (Kim) of Aurora, Ill., and Mark Gerdes of Los Alamitos, Calif.; daughters Karen Mueller (Ken) of Prescott Valley, Kathleen Austria of Norwalk, Calif., Sharon McGill of Elgin, Ill., Diane Chankay (Michael) of Anaheim, Calif., and Laura Mortell (Chris) of Henderson, Colo.; 22 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and close family friend Matt Molus. She was preceded in death by her parents; stepfather, William Storm; her sister Marilyn; and son-in-law, Leonard Austria.
Visitation will be Thursday, April 19, 2012, from 4 to 6 p.m., with a rosary at 6 p.m. at the Arizona Ruffner Wakelin Funeral Home, 303 S. Cortez St., Prescott, Ariz. A funeral Mass will be Friday at 10 a.m., at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Prescott, Ariz. Interment will be at Mountain View Cemetery in Prescott, Ariz., at 12:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in memory to St. Jude Children's Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or online at www.stjude.org.
Arrangements are provided by Arizona Ruffner Wakelin Funeral Home.
Visit Janet's guestbook at www.ruffnerwakelin.com.
Information provided by survivors.