Leonard Gerling, 91, of Monticello, died Saturday, June 1, 2019, at the Taylor House, UnityPoint Hospice in Des Moines, following a brief illness.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 6, at St. John Lutheran Church, rural Monticello. Interment will be in St. John Cemetery, rural Newhall, at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. The Rev. Dale Glawatz will officiate at the services. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Goettsch Funeral Home, Monticello. Thoughts, memories and condolences may be left at www.goettschonline.com. Memorials may be made to St. John Lutheran Church or Taylor House Hospice, Des Moines.
Surviving are two daughters, Lisa (David) Bielser, Norwalk, and Julie (Perry) Lund, Spanaway, Wash.; and his grandson, Erik Lund.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 56 years, Ardith, in 2009; and infant siblings, Glenn and Marilyn Ann.
Leonard Arthur Gerling was born April 15, 1928, in Mediapolis, Iowa. He was the son of Albert Benjamin and Meda Marie Buescher Gerling. He graduated from Anamosa Community Schools in 1945 and continued his education at Iowa State University. Leonard enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and then the Marine Corps Reserves. He was called up to active duty in 1950 with the start of the Korean War. While in Korea, he received the Marine Corps V citation for excellent service. He was an air crewman on a night fire mission, flying in an unarmed aircraft, handling and deploying highly combustible flares to illuminate enemy positions for bombing runs.
Following his discharge from the Marines, Leonard returned to Anamosa and began selling insurance for Equitable Life. Leonard Gerling and Ardith Baumgardner were married on June 14, 1953, at St Andrew Lutheran Church, Van Horne. The couple made their home in Anamosa until 1960, when they moved to Monticello. Leonard partnered with Gus Norlin to build homes in Monticello. He also worked for Standard Parts for several years. In 1966, Leonard went to work for Bowman/Barnes Industries, an auto parts wholesaler. He called on garages and mechanics all over Eastern Iowa for 48 1/2 years, retiring in 2014. He enjoyed talking to everyone he met.