A Celebration of Life service for Grant Jonathan Gerk, 38, was held at 1:00 P.M. Thursday, August 31, 2023 at the Upper Ag Building – Wyoming State Fairgrounds in Douglas, Wyoming with Reverend Tom Ketner and The Reverend Jennie Ketner of Christ Episcopal Church officiating
Interment was in the Douglas Park Cemetery, with full military honors. Presenting the colors to the family was Lt Colonel Brandon Teague. He served with Grant as Bravo Company Commander. Grant will be buried alongside his Hero and Grandfather Kenneth Taylor.
A reception followed at the Moose Lodge, where everyone was asked to bring your stories, bring your love, bring your pain, we will all be there for you.
Grant Jonathan Gerk a son, a brother, a grandson, a cousin, a nephew, an uncle, a father, a Proud American soldier, and to most of you, a friend, died on Friday, August 25, 2023, to the unseen wounds of the real-world wars he fought. Grant was born in Sterling Colorado on Wednesday, February 13, 1985, the little brother to Shandi and the son of Ron Gerk and Lois Taylor Young. He was born four minutes to midnight and missed being a Valentine's baby. But that didn’t stop him from being one who loved everyone. From a small age he was remembered as the most honest person. He was goofy and was always looking to have fun.
Grant went to school in Douglas. In middle school his goal was to be the class clown. Lofty goals that many remember. Many of his friends described when he first started driving. Sitting on “Double phonebooks” just to see over the steering wheel. And being stopped by the cops because he didn’t look old enough to be driving. He loved to wrestle and the brotherhood that followed. Many of his brothers spoke of his support for them, on and off the mat. Being by their side through life's trials, and their celebrations. A brotherhood that lasted until his last breath.
Grant graduated from Douglas High School in 2003. During his senior year he decided to join the United States Army, but not just the Army, the 82nd Airborne, 2nd Battalion 504th P I R. This began the next brotherhood. He served his Country with honor and dignity. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He told his parents, grandparents, his sister, and others that the reason he decided to serve was, “So that no one else had to go.” In 2006 Grant was selected as Brigade Soldier of the year, his dedication and determination placed him in the elite. His hero was his Grandfather Kenneth Taylor, who proudly served this Country as a Marine. Grant dearly loved his Grandma Dorothy and enjoyed visiting with her.
Grant was honorably discharged in August 2008. He went to Front Range Community College and then returned to Douglas. His girlfriend, Kaylee Felton, and he settled down and welcomed their first daughter, Lincoln Benning Gerk on January 27, 2014. Grant loved being a father, from hiding in the kitchen cupboards with Lincoln to playing video games with her. Then on October 5, 2016, Collins Grace Gerk made his life complete, being an all-girl dad. He loved to coach Collins in all her events. Being their father was the most important role he had.
In 1994, when Grant was eight, Lois married Chris Young. Chris became a father figure for the rest of his life and they became the best of traveling partners. Traveling to Greece in 2019 and 2021, with the Wyoming Cultural Exchange Wrestling Team. Then to Madrid in 2022. Grant loved to travel and he spoke of his time in Greece as one the best places he had ever seen. Grant loved sunsets from all over the world, and fishing! He could be found fishing on the Young’s Pond or at the lake. Or just sitting on the deck at his moms.
Grant believed in and loved many things. First were his daughters, his family, and then his many brothers. Grant knew our Lord and carried a small Bible with him. “Honor all people, love the Brotherhood and fear God. 1 Peter 2:17”.
Til Valhalla: the hall of the fallen. Where heroes live forever. Grant was an American Soldier, who fought for freedom and justice. His battle with depression and PTSD was courageous. But the pain and memories just overwhelmed him. We ask all his battle brothers and sisters, from every arena of life, to reach out, seek help, the pain of losing you is agonizing. We need you all here. Please, call each other, find help, call out. You are loved, you are needed, you are the most important person in our life. Your brother is right there, ready to help.
Representing all his brothers from throughout his life and carrying his urn were Justin Seim, Nick Velazquez, and Cody McCullough.
Serving as honorary pallbearers were Tailor Paquette, Traeton Paquette, Travis Barnett, John Iberlin, Justin Whinney, Randy McCullough, Colter Felton, Cam Felton, Bill Felton, and *Casey Uhlich*.
Those left to finish the fight and help our loved ones fighting PTSD will be Grant’s true loves, his daughters, Lincoln and Collins. Also, his loving parents Chris and Lois Young; sister, Shandi and children, Tailor, Traeton, Bryar, and Pyper; his grandmother, Dorothy Taylor, and the rest of his family and friends.
Those that went before him, his father, Ron Gerk, on August 26, 2004; grandfather, Kenneth Taylor, on July 7, 2012; grandparents, Albert Gerk on December 23, 2004 and Pauline Gerk on March 22, 1999; and his 17 brothers from the 82 Airborne.
In lieu of flowers, memorial to War Fighter Overwatch in care of UniWyo Credit Union, 239 South Fourth Street, Douglas, Wyoming 82633 would be appreciated by the family.
The Gorman Funeral Homes – Converse Chapel of Douglas, Wyoming was in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.gormanfh.com