Fran Gerkin, 84

Frances Arlene Gerkin, age 84, of Sturgis, passed away Friday evening, Aug. 4, 2017, at Thurston Woods Village in Sturgis.
She was born March 22, 1933, in Centreville, daughter of the late Leon C. and Blanche D. (Brown) Hepner.
Fran was a lifelong St. Joseph County resident. On Oct. 20, 1953, she eloped with Ernest T. “Red” Gerkin in Angola, Ind. He died Feb. 28, 2005.
She had been employed by Martin Products, Olson Products and Bart’s Bait and Grocery all in Sturgis and she was a dedicated homemaker, wife and mother.
Fran enjoyed being involved in her children’s activities and served as an assistant leader in Girl Scouts, Brownies, Cub Scouts and 4-H. She also enjoyed working in in her yard and cooking and family gatherings.
She is survived by two daughters, Anna (David) Watts and Cindy Mays, both of Sturgis; two sons, James (Donna) Gerkin of Three Rivers and Ernie Gerkin of Sturgis; five grandchildren, Tony Gerkin, Chad Gerkin, Jason Watts, Tara (Gene) Caldwell and Ashely Gerkin; and several great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; infant son, Joseph Gerkin; son-in-law, Steven Mays; and sister, June Hepner.
In accordance with her wishes, cremation has taken place. The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at the Hackman Chapel of Hackman Family Funeral Homes, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, MI 49091, 269-651-2331. Private burial of the ashes will take place at the Nottawa Cemetery in Nottawa.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Fran’s memory consider the Animal Rescue Fund, . Box 593, Centreville, MI 49032.
The obituary is also at where personal messages of support may be left for the family.

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