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Gerdena Johanna Walvoord (1870-1929)

Gerdena Johanna Walvoord

Gerdena Johanna Walvoord

Gerdena “Gertie”, the third child of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Walvoord, was born on December 19, 1870 in Amsterdam, Wisconsin.

Gertie was a great lover of flowers.  She had her windows full of house plants.  She enjoyed the radio, especially the Amos and Andy Program.

Before her marriage, she did sewing for the family and made her sister’s dresses.  She would cut patterns just by looking at a picture.

After her marriage, she did not attend church regularly.  She was always laughing and never seemed sad.

Gertie married John Duenk of Cedar Grove on February 10, 1894 on the old farm at Amsterdam. They bought the Henry Walvoord farm west of Cedar Grove after living on the old Duenk farm north of Cedar Grove for several years. They had one son, Clifford, who was born on the Duenk farm in June 1895.

Gertie, John and Clifford Duenk c. 1900

Clifford Duenk married Verone Helmbrecht. They had one daughter, Eugenia Merlie Duenk who was called “Jean”.  Jean married Vernon Jerome Smith.

Later the John Duenk family moved to a farm near Antigo, Wisconsin where Gertie died on June 22, 1929 at the age of fifty-eight. She had an operation and spent some three months in the hospital. She died one day after arriving home, from a blood clot. She is buried in the Antigo cemetery.

John Duenk lived on the Antigo farm for a few years alone.  He died in the summer of 1937 on July 17th.  He also is buried in the Antigo cemetery.

A hymm that Gertie used to sing while at work was, “Whiter Than Snow.”  This she must have learned while at Sunday School.  Her only granddaughter, Jean, used to spend much time there with her grandparents on the farm.  While there, as a small child, her Grandma taught her the words of that song:

1. Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul.
Break down every idol, cast out every foe
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

Chorus:
Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

2. Lord Jesus, look down from Your throne in the skies
And help me to make a complete sacrifice.
I give up myself and whatever I know
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

3. Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat;
I wait, blessed Lord, at Thy crucified feet.
By faith, for my cleansing I see Your blood flow
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

4. Lord Jesus, before You I patiently wait;
Come now and within me a new heart create.
To those who have sought You, You never said “No”
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

This was Gerdena J. Walvoord Duenk’s favorite Hymm.

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