John “Delmar” Gerdes, age 89 of Wymore passed away on September 2, 2022 at the Good Samaritan Society in Beatrice. He was born on May 17, 1933 to John O. and Tena (Tjaden) Gerdes. He was a 1951 graduate of Barneston High School. Delmar served his country in the United States Army from August 21, 1953 to June 20, 1955 where he worked as a cook. It became very apparent that he was a good cook, so he was promoted out of the mess hall to being the officers’ cook. After his honorable discharge, he came back to the family’s homestead and farmed with his dad. There he began a lengthy and successful career raising hogs. He was very influential in the international hog industry working for Murphy of Iowa, managing SENEK testing station, IMU Genetics. He also worked for Norris Public Power as a meter reader. He was instrumental in promoting the Pork Check-Off; charter member of the Blue Valley Pork Producers; founding member of the Nebraska Pork Producers earning the highest honor of Pork All-American; and was the President of the National Swine Improvement Federation and taught artificial insemination to farmers throughout Nebraska and the Midwest. He served for the Gage County Ag Society and judged hogs throughout the Midwest.

 His life was dedicated to catering to and serving others through many volunteer commitments and social events. He was a member of the Barneston American Legion #356 where he served as the cook for many years and helped with the Barneston Fish Fries, making his famous tartar sauce. His food catering extended to the Gage County and Jefferson County Fairs and the Nebraska State Fair where he made all the pork products along with his renowned BBQ sauce – which is still being served today. He was an active leader in the Immanuel (Stateline) Lutheran Church; member of the Future Farmers of America; served at the prison ministry in Lincoln; volunteered at the Beatrice Speedway selling beer; and was a member of the Gage County Veterans’ Service Committee. Outside of these organizations, he provided pumpkins and sweet corn to anyone who drove by his home on the highway and helped themselves. His family was everything. He enjoyed watching his nieces and nephews and their families grow. His hobbies included Nebraska Cornhusker volleyball and football, Kansas City Royals and gardening.

Those left to mourn his passing are his nephew, Rick Jurgens and wife Vicky of Wymore; niece, Nancy Coffey and husband Jim of Omaha; great nieces and nephews, Nick and Samantha Thompson and their daughter, Adeline of Wymore, Garrett Thompson and significant other Cassidy Dixon of Aurora, CO, Justice and Amanda Coffey and their son, Landon of Omaha, Lindsay Coffey of Omaha, and Connor Coffey and significant other Evann Martin of Urbandale, IA; and a host of great friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Betty Jurgens and husband Delmer.

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 AM on Friday, September 9, 2022 at the Immanuel (Stateline) Lutheran Church south of Wymore with Reverend Arden Dorn officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. The body will lie in state at the Laughlin-Hoevet Funeral Home in Wymore on Thursday from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM with the family greeting relatives and friends from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM, and at the church one hour prior to the service on Friday. A memorial has been established to the Barneston American Legion #356 and the Immanuel (Stateline) Lutheran Cemetery. Sign Delmar’s online register book and view his video tribute at

These services have been entrusted to the Laughlin-Hoevet Funeral Home in Wymore.