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Alfred "Al" H Gertsema

August 18, 1932 ~ January 14, 2022 (age 89)

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Obituary

In Loving Memory of

Alfred “Al” Herbert Gertsema

Al Gertsema was born on August 18, 1932, on a farm near Roscoe, South Dakota to Jake and Rena Kruse Gertsema.  The family later moved to a farm near Milbank, SD for a short time before moving to a Little Rock, IA.  Where Al attended Little Rock High School.  On August 26, 1950, he and Arliss Lursen were married in Little Rock.  Following their marriage, they made their home in Little Rock where Al worked at the lumber yard.  Al was drafted in January 1953 and served in the United States Army until his honorable discharge in December 1954.  In 1960 they purchased the Ellsworth Café and changed the name to Al’s Place. They ran the café for 4 years and then Al went to work for a plumber.  In 1968 he joined the Ellsworth School District as a custodian and bus driver.  In 1972 they moved to Slayton, MN and Al worked as building and grounds supervisor for the Slayton School District.  In 1974 Al joined the Minnesota National Guards and served for 9 years.  He retired from the school district in 1994.  Al being the community minded individual he was and seeing a need he ran for Murray County Commissioner and served for 8 years.  As Country Commissioner Al was must proud of being part of bringing a new dentist to Slayton, the lake sewer project, and the hospital expansion.  Al passed away on Friday, January 14, 2022, at the VA Medical Center in Sioux Falls, SD at the age of 89.  He was a member of the Slayton Presbyterian Church.  He also was a 50-year member of the Slayton American Legion Post, and a member of the Slayton VFW Post.  Al enjoyed spending time with his family, coffee with friends, woodworking, tinkering around on projects, and helping family and friends with their projects.

Survivors include his wife, Arliss Gertsema of Slayton, MN, four children, Dean Gertsema of Slayton, MN, Jay Gertsema and partner, Lindsay Owens of Washington, DC, Sandra Lau of Tracy, MN, and Dave Gertsema and wife, Corrine of Redwood Falls, MN, seven grandchildren, Kimberly and Kory Burch, Kayla and Bruce Lavender, Courtney Lau, Christopher and Casie Bangasser, and Samantha, Jacob and Sydney Gertsema, five great-grandchildren, Kennedy and Kora Burch, Grace Lavender and Bennett and Bryer Bangasser and baby girl Lavender due in March.  He is preceded in death by his parents, daughter, Lori Bangasser, son-in-law, Jack Lau and 14 brothers and sisters.

A private family service will be held with Rev. Aaron Punt officiating.  The pallbearers will be his family.  Interment is at Slayton Memorial Gardens in Slayton, MN.  Military honors accord by the Slayton American Legion Post and the Slayton VFW Post. 

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