Brian Gerken


With deepest sorrow, we announce that Brian James Gerken, our beloved son, father, brother, nephew, cousin and friend, born to Birdie and Ge Ge Gerken on January 18, 1983, passed away in his sleep on Friday, January 10, 2020. Brian will always be remembered for his infectious smile, happiness, patient kindness, and easygoing spirit. His love for his friends and family was shown daily in his bright smile, how he gave the best hugs, and how he treated each and every one of us.

Brian’s pride and joy was his daughter, Anabelle. He did everything he could to make her happy, and they loved each other very much, even when she always beat him playing miniature golf.

Brian took after his father, Birdie, and enjoyed playing cards with his friends and family, joking and laughing all the while. One of Brian’s greatest joys was surprising his mom, Ge Ge, with an unannounced visit and greeting her with one of his best hugs. His love for his mother could be seen in his eyes every time he looked at her.

Brian was affectionately known as “The Boy” by his sisters and was a loving uncle to his nieces and nephews, Hayden, Aubrey, William, Charli and Emme, and treated them with the same kindness and smiles that he gave to all of us.

Known as “Pickle” to many of his Dayton friends, Brian was a huge sports fan and loved to root for the Cleveland Browns and the Michigan Wolverines. Every time they win, we will think of Brian and in the case of the Browns, every time they lose. Brian also loved to play disc golf, and spent many hours playing on the course by his home and forging friendships with fellow disc golfers.

Brian was deeply loved and will be sorely missed from now until we see him again. We know he is counting out poker chips already for when we can all be with him at the same table again. He is survived by his parents, Birdie and Ge Ge Gerken of Defiance; daughter, Anabelle of Dayton and her mother, Rachel; sisters, Amber (Dave Gillengerten) and Betsi (Chad Hall); three nieces and two nephews, all of Defiance, and countless family and friends who will remember his love forever.

Visitation will be held from 2-8 p.m. Wednesday, January 15, 2020, at Schaffer Funeral Home, 529 Jefferson Ave., Defiance. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, January 16, 2020, at St. John Lutheran Church, 655 Wayne Ave. in Defiance, with an hour visitation before the service.

Memorial are suggested to a trust for Anabelle, St. John Lutheran Church or an organization of the donor’s choice. Online condolences can be given at

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