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Denise I. Gjerde

January 14, 1941 ~ September 15, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old


Denise I. Gjerde, 82, of Spicer, died Friday, September 15, 2023 at CentraCare Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar. Memorial services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at Faith Lutheran Church in Spicer. Visitation will be Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home in New London and for one hour prior to the service at church. Burial will be in Spicer City Cemetery. Arrangements were made with Johnson Funeral Home of New London.

Denise Ione Peterson was born on January 14, 1941, in Green Lake Township to Anthony and Dorothy (Heck) Peterson. She attended country school in District 51 and graduated from New London Spicer High School in 1958. Denise moved to California and attended Kelsey Jenny Business College. She worked for San Diego Gas and Electric while living in California. Denise married James Hedtke in 1959. To this union, one son was born. She moved back to Minnesota in 1960 and worked for Honeywell for seven years. Denise divorced and later married Knute “Bob” Gjerde in 1965 and had a son together.

Denise worked for Standard Lumber, Heartland Senior Dining, Red Ruby Dinner Theatre, and Willmar Bus. She was also head of the kitchen for Spicer American Legion and did her own private catering. In 1994 she started working for Peterson Bus and Russell’s Bus until her retirement 24 years later.

Denise loved to spend time going to Arizona with Bob and seeing parts of the United States on the drive there. She also enjoyed cooking, holidays, family get togethers, cards, and gambling at the casino. Denise was a member of Faith Lutheran Church and the Spicer Legion Auxiliary where she was president from 1976 to 1977 and again in 1979 to 1980.

Denise is survived by her sons, Brian Hedtke of Sleepy Eye and Michael (Tammy) Gjerde of Spicer; five grandchildren, Jesse (Rachel) Hedtke, Brent (Tiffany) Hedtke, Carla (Rich) Middagh, Aaron Hedtke, and Chauntel (Mark) Renne; 13 great-grandchildren, Hailey, Bobbi Lynne, Benjamin, Harper, Larkin, Oliver, Kamerai, Laine, Gavin, Terrell, Isaiah, Wyatt, and Amelia; and three great-great-grandchildren, Kingslo, Tommie, and Murphy.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, James Hedtke and Bob Gjerde; and parents.

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