AURORA — Todd L. Gerdes, 54, of Aurora, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, at CHI St. Francis Medical Center in Grand Island.
Memorial services will be held 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 11, at the Evangelical Free Church in Central City, with Pastor Sam Krug officiating. A time of fellowship to celebrate Todd’s life with family and friends will be held Sunday evening. Details will be distributed through social media. Please come as Todd would know you. A private family inurnment will be held at a later date. Dubas Funeral Home of Stromsburg and Osceola has been entrusted with arrangements.
Todd was born Nov. 7, 1963, to Herman and Donna (Johnson) Gerdes at Sioux Center, Iowa. He attended schools in Manning, St. Ansgar and Clear Lake, Iowa. The family moved to Shelby in 1978. Todd graduated from Shelby High School in 1982. While in high school, Todd lettered all four years in basketball, track and football and was a member of the 1981 Shelby state championship football team also achieving All-State honors in football. He then went on to attend the University of South Dakota where he played football and received his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1987. Todd’s senior year of college, his team played in the NAIA Division II championship football game and was later inducted into the University of South Dakota’s Hall of Fame.
Todd worked for the Farmers Coop Business Association in Shelby and soon after accepted a position with the Aurora Cooperative as a specialty grain merchandiser. His responsibilities progressed to working with Preferred Popcorn. Todd’s professional career encompassed numerous organizations and honors in the agricultural field. His experiences in the agricultural arena were international. He was very proud of the opportunity to share his knowledge while also learning from others. This was demonstrated through his support and participation in the Lead Program as well as providing subject matter expertise through lectures at UNL and various college campuses.
Todd took an active role in many community organizations through chamber activities, youth sports and community events. Another interest near and dear to him was Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited and other conservation organizations taking a special interest in providing opportunities for kids through youth hunts, safety courses and honoring the great outdoors. Todd was a member of shooting sport activities whether it be weekly leagues or charitable shooting events. Todd also took an active interest in Harley-Davidson cycles and the open highway through rides and charitable events with friends.
Todd’s greatest legacy was his contribution to the lives of his nieces and nephews. He inspired them through actions and deeds. He was their best cheerleader and took an active role in mentoring them in a way only Todd could.
Todd is survived by his parents Herman and Donna Gerdes of Stromsburg; one brother Derek Gerdes of Fayetteville, North Carolina; two sisters Darla (Ron) Hopwood of Shelby and Brenda (Ken) Toline of Bonners Ferry, Idaho; nieces and nephew Katie, Seth, Cari, Maddie and Kristen; great-niece Arika and great-nephews Cole and Jonathon; and a host of other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents Dirk and Stena Gerdes and Orland and Eva Johnson; and nephew Caelan Hopwood.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that charitable contributions be made to CHI St. Francis Cancer Treatment Center at 2116 W. Faidley Ave., Suite 200, Grand Island, NE 68803. Todd held them in the highest esteem.