Denise Gerth

The Memorial for Denise will be held at Saint Andrew’s on
Saturday, February 4th @ 1:30 p.m.

PRELUDE

WELCOME  Pastor Dan Breznau

Friends and Family, we are gathered here to praise God and to witness to our faith as we celebrate the life of Denise Gerth.  We come together in grief, acknowledging our human loss.  May God grant us grace, that in pain we may find comfort; in sorrow, hope; in death, resurrection.

*HYMN:  # 92 “For the Beauty of the Earth”

PRAYER  (responsive)

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

O God, who gave us birth, you are ever more ready to hear than we are to pray.  You know our needs before we ask, and our ignorance in asking.  Give to us now your grace, that as we shrink before the mystery of death, we may see the light of eternity.  Speak to us once more your solemn message of life and death.  Help us to live as those who are prepared to die.  And when our days here are accomplished, enable us to die as those who go forth to live, so that, living or dying, our life may be in you, and that nothing in life or in death will be able to separate us from your great love in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen.

Words of Comfort (unison) Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
For his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk
Through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil:
For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me
In the presence of mine enemies;
Thou anointest my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

SCRIPTURE

EULOGY

We will begin with a reflection from John Gerth, following his thoughts, other family and friends who may wish to voice their thankfulness to God for the grace they have received through Denise’s life are encouraged to do so.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen

*HYMN: #347 “Spirit Song”

READING AND HOMILY

COMMENDATION

God of us all, your love never ends. When all else fails, you still are God.  We pray to you for one another in our need, and for all, anywhere, who mourn with us this day. To those who doubt, give light; to those who are weak, strength; to all who have sinned, mercy; to all who sorrow, your peace. Keep true in us the love with which we hold one another. In all our ways help us trust you. And to you, with your Church on earth and in heaven, we offer honor and glory, now and forever.

Heavenly Father, receive Denise into the arms of your mercy.
Raise him up with all your people.
Receive us also, and raise us into a new life.
Help us so to love and serve you in this world
that we may enter into your joy in the world to come.  Amen.

*HYMN: #114 “Many Gifts, One Spirit”

*DISMISSAL AND BLESSING                                                                 

       Prayer

God of love, we thank you for all with which you have blessed us, even to this day: for the gifts of your abiding Presence and promise in days of pain and grief. We praise you for home and friends, and for our baptism and place in your Church with all who have faithfully lived and died. Above all else, we thank you for Jesus, who knows our griefs, who died our death and rose for our sake, and who lives and prays for us. Amen.

Memorials may be given in Denise’s name to:

Saint Andrews United Methodist Church, PO Box 3866, Lacey, WA. 98509

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“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection , and the life:
he that believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall he live.” John 11:25

On behalf of the Gerth family, we would like to thank all of you for sharing this time with us, and thank you for being an important part of Denise’s life.  The family invites you to join them for a time of fellowship immediately following the service.

# # # 

Denise Sharron Fisher

Denise was born on November 3, 1937, in Sedro Woolley, WA, to her parents, Herbert and Vivian Fisher.  Her father worked in logging and heavy construction so the family lived in many places during her childhood years.  She graduated from Maysville High School in 1956.  Denise and John met in the Spring   of 1957, while attending Washington State College.  Denise was a home economics major.  They were married May 2, 1959 at the Methodist church in Marysville, WA.  Denise is the mother of three children: Glenn born February 22, 1960, Colleen born December 15, 1961, and Stephen born January 24, 1963.  Denise and family lived in Centralia, WA, for about four years were John was employed with the Lewis County Health Department.  Glenn, Colleen and Stephen were all born in Centralia.  The family moved to Berkeley, CA, for some less than a year while John attended the University of California.   Upon returning to Washington, John resumed employment with the State Health Department until he went to work for the Agency for International Development.  The family left for Vietnam in October 1964, for a planned tour of two years.  However, in February 1965, President Johnson ordered the evacuation of all dependents, which included Denise and the children.  They moved to Grand Coulee Dam to live near her Mother.  Her Father was also in Vietnam at this time.  John was able to shorten his tour to eighteen months so returned to the States in May 1966.  The family moved to Lacey and Denise and John have lived in the area ever since.

Denise graduated from Olympia Technical Community College with an Associate Degree in accounting in June of 1976 and Bachelor’s Degree in accounting from the University of Puget Sound in May 1977.

Shortly after the end of her sophomore year (1958) at Washington State, Denise became very ill.  She was finally diagnosed with celiac disease (gluten intolerance).  After she started being treated for the disease she began to recover.  As difficult as it was, she was determined to embrace her condition and lived with it quite successfully for fifty eight years.  We read a lot of processed food labels. 

In addition to being a wonderful Mother, she was a phenomenal human being.  She was a skilled seamstress, quilter and cook.  She employed these talents in many areas of church life here at St. Andrew’s and otherwise.  She served on committees related to education, fellowship, preschool, trustees and treasurer.  For many years this church held a craft fair in the Fall which included a dinner that served up to one hundred people. Denise was the prime mover in organizing that dinner event.  She volunteered in the public schools for many years.  For employment, she worked as a bookkeeper for small businesses   

More than ten years ago Denise was diagnosed with breast cancer in her right  breast.  She had surgery to remove the cancer and after several radiation treatments and a few years on tamoxifen she was cured.  However, about five and a half years ago, she was diagnosed with small bowel cancer which is quite rare.  She had surgery to remove the obstruction and received twelve chemotherapy treatments.   A year or more later the cancer reappeared and she had additional surgery to remove the cancer and any organs she didn’t absolutely need.  Following recovery from the surgery she again went on chemotherapy with the understanding she would be on it for the rest of her life.  In July of 2016 she experienced a heart attack.  She was at Group Health when it happened and she was taken to the hospital immediately.  The doctor put in a stint and her recovery progressed reasonable well.  She did not receive any chemotherapy while recovering from the heart attack.  When she did return for a visit with the oncologist, the oncologist expressed a concern that the chemo may have contribute to the heart attack.  On a subsequent visit with the oncologist near the end of September, the oncologist advised there were no more treatment options and started the process of getting Denise signed on with Hospice. 

Denise died December 25, 2016. 

 

 

 

 

 

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