Gerald “Gerry” Zenzen was born on Feb. 28, 1939, to Clara (Dehmer) and Richard Zenzen. He would be the 3rd of six children. He grew up on a farm in Elrosa. He often told stories of the farm: working with teams of horses, sleeping in the hayloft and doing chores. He completed school through the eighth grade, then worked on the family farm. He later would complete his GED. 

After leaving the farm, Gerry worked a few jobs including the granite quarry in Cold Spring, hauling turkeys, driving truck for a lumber company, (Silver Fir) and later Kane Transport. He was then hired by Stearns County Highway Department where he was employed for over 30 years. While employed with the county, he also did field work on a farm northwest of Sauk Centre. Upon his retirement, he worked for a construction and excavation company and drove cars for local car dealerships. He also hauled weeds, which had been removed from Sauk Lake, for the Sauk Centre Watershed.

In 1958, Gerry joined the military. He served in the Minnesota National Guard for over 24 years. He achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant and held the position of Squad Leader. He later joined the American Legion and was proud to be a member of the Honor Guard.

In 1962 he met Judy Parks, and in April of 1964 they were married. Gerry and Judy prioritized family; they would become the parents of four sons: Thomas, Anthony, Todd, Troy. Tom married Melissa and has two daughters, Claire and Cate; Tony married Heather and has two daughters, Sophie and Scarlett; Todd has a daughter, Brianna; Troy married Melanie and has a son, Adam and daughter, Emma; Troy’s son Adam married Jinnea and they have a daughter, Juliette, who is Gerry’s great-granddaughter. 

He was an active member of his church, as an alter boy, participating in Bible studies and serving as an usher for many years.

Gerry loved music and had several hobbies; he loved swimming and fishing and almost always owned a boat. He also took many hunting trips and especially loved deer hunting. He spent time woodworking, rock polishing and llama boxing. However, his favorite pastimes was being with his family on camping trips and spending time with Judy watching the ships in Duluth Harbor.   

Gerry was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather who will be greatly missed by his family.

He was preceded in death by his parents; mother-in-law Ester Parks; father-in-law Everett Parks; sister-in-law, Mary Lou Zenzen; and brothers-in-law Louzelle “Lucky” Luke, Donald Parks, Laurel Parks and Richard Parks.

Visitation will be held at Patton-Schad Funeral Home in Sauk Centre, on Friday, Aug. 6 from 10-11:30 a.m. with a funeral to follow at 11:30 a.m. Military honors will be by the Sauk Centre United Veterans Honor Guard.

Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services of Sauk Centre.

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