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OBIT: Gerda Elaine Hartwell


This news story was published on December 26, 2018.
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Gerda Elaine Hartwell, 84, of Charles City, formerly of Clear Lake, died Saturday, December 8, 2018, at Chautauqua Guest Home in Charles City.

Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 18, 2018, at the Clear Lake United Methodist Church, 508 2nd Ave. N., Clear Lake, with Pastor David Peterson officiating. Burial will be at Clear Lake Cemetery in Clear Lake.

Visitation will be from 12:30-2:00 p.m. Tuesday at the church.

Family suggests memorial contributions to the American Alzheimer’s Association.

Gerda was born February 11, 1934, the youngest of eight children to Laurits and Anne (Jorgensen) Mikkelsen on their family farm west of Burchinal, IA. She grew up and attended school in Mason City, graduating from Mason City High School in 1951. After high school, Gerda moved to California where she met her future husband, Lee Harris. They married in 1953, and both worked many years in the Aerospace industry. After living a short time in Newport, OR, Gerda and Lee retired to Mesa, AZ. While living in Oregon and Arizona, she began a second career as a legal secretary.

After 40 years together, Lee preceded her in death in 1993. While visiting family in Iowa, Gerda met her future husband, Paul Hartwell. They were wed in 1999 and spent 15 enjoyable years together traveling and cherishing time with family. Paul preceded her in death in 2014.

Gerda was a member of the Clear Lake United Methodist Church. She enjoyed traveling and singing.

Gerda is survived by a sister, Betty Kolb of Mason City; 13 nieces and nephews; four step-children and step-grandchildren; and numerous great nieces and great nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; both husbands; and siblings Carrie Peters, George Mikkelsen, Leland Mikkelsen, Lillian Ell, Florence Mikkelsen and Tess McMenimen.

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