Gerald Hearnen

gerald hearnen

Gerald Hearnen, 84, Fargo, ND, passed away Tuesday, April 24, 2012, at the Palliative Care Unit of Sanford Health, Fargo.

Jerry was born on August 14, 1927, in rural Turton, SD, to William and Elvira (Wettstein) Hearnen.  He grew up and attended school in Conde, SD, graduating from Conde High School in 1945.  He served in the United States Navy from 1945-1946 and then attended Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD.   He worked for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as a Bank Examiner until his retirement in 1988.

He married Karen Anderson on May 18, 1963, in Minneapolis, MN, and they lived with their children in Aberdeen, SD; Rochester, MN; Grand Forks, ND; and Fargo, ND.

Jerry enjoyed golf, watching Cardinals and Redhawks baseball, researching his ancestry, Jeopardy!, hard work, pheasant hunting and attending events in Conde.  He and Karen enjoyed three trips to Ireland in his pursuit of discovering his ancestry.

He is survived by his wife, Karen Hearnen, Fargo, ND; children; Jean (Jeff) Peterson, Fargo, ND, Peggy Curtis, Farmington, MN, and Kevin (Terri) Hearnen, New Hope, MN; five grandchildren, John and Kellie Peterson, Sarah and Molly Curtis, and Olivia Hearnen; brothers, William (Patsie) Hearnen, Conde, SD, and Norb (Donna) Hearnen, Conde, SD; sister, Maxine Bertsch, Phoenix, AZ; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Elvira Hearnen, his brother, Bernie Hearnen, his brother, Tom Hearnen, his sister, Blanche Warner, and his son-in-law, Dan Curtis.

In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Hospice of the Red River Valley.

Jerry's father and uncle, Bill and Jim Hearnen, were in the lumber and construction business. They put out a business card which said:  “Think big, talk little, love  much, laugh easily, work hard, give freely, pay cash and be kind – IT IS ENOUGH – do these and you may smoke and drink without danger to your immortal soul.”

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Memories Timeline


  1. Peoria ArizonaI was so sad to hear about Uncle Jerry and his passing. Some of my favorite times are when I would see Uncle Jerry on my trips back to South Dakota during pheasant hunting season and hear all of his great stories about Ireland. His research made me want to go Ireland and walk in his footsteps and see everything he talked about. I WILL make that trip someday and when I do I will totally think of Uncle Jerry!

  2. Bathgate ND
    Karen and family:
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you on the loss of Jerry. He was a wonderful man. Always had a smile and a story to tell. He will be missed greatly. So sorry we will not be able to attend his service tomorrow. Busy time for both of us with spring planting. Nice to be in early for a change. Maybe we will get a summer after all. Take care and we will be in touch.

    Mark and Mary Jo and family

  3. Thinking and praying for you Karen and the family. Uncle Jerry will be missed greatly. I loved his huge smile and his kind words for everyone.

  4. Fargo ND
    Our thoughts and prayers are for your families at this difficult time. I am very happy that I was able to spend a few minutes with Jerry prior to his passing. Jerry has been a great friend and I cherish many good memories.

  5. fargo ND
    Thinking of your family during this difficult time. Remembering Jerry’s great laugh and sense of humor. Hang in there and take care.

  6. Plymouth MN
    My trainer, mentor, and dear friend who I enjoyed working beside as well as the football games or golf followed by a beer at our favorite watering hole. You will to truely missed. My prayers and sympathy are for Karen and his chldren.

  7. It was a pleasure to meet Jerry & Karen at One Oak Place. He will be missed!

    My sympathies to Karen and to Jerry’s complete family

  8. Fargo North Dakota
    Gerry was a great person and I enjoyed knowing him. When I first started with the FDIC, he was one person that took the time to sort of take me under his wing and I greatly appreciated that. We golfed many times together while he was still with the FDIC and after his retirement.

  9. New York Mills MnMy sympathy to Jerry’s Family. Jerry was a very good friend and was a key help to me in my career. I will miss him. Al Berube

  10. Fargo ND
    Our deepest sympathy to you, my dear friend Karen — and to your family. Am sure this past week has been very stressful for you all — Jerry is at peace — and good memories will keep him alive. God Bless!

  11. Karen, our sympathies to you & your family. Jerry was such a good person always had a smile whenever we saw him. We are so glad that we had such a good visit at your bday party last year, as we were toasting with a drink! We remember the fun times at your place w/Jerry at the grill & the old tire swing in the front yard in North Fargo. Rest in Peace Jerry. Fondly, Mark & Sheila Beauchene

  12. Jean and Family: Our prayers are with you during this time of sorrow. You can take comfort knowing that your dad is with the communion of saints and that you will be with him again some day.

    All our love!

  13. Austin MN
    Karen and family:
    Oh, how we will miss that twinkle in Jerry’s eye!
    May God Bless you!
    Love and Prayers,
    Jan and Neil

    PS See you Friday!

  14. Shakopee MN
    Karen and Families,

    You have our deepest sympathy! Jerry was such a wonderful,caring and compassionate man. We thoroughly enjoyed ALL our visits with him and his unique sense of humor. He will be deeply missed but not FORGOTTEN!!

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