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Denise Joy (Keator) Gierke, 60 years old, Lincoln, passed away on June 30th, 2021, after a long, courageous battle with Cancer.
Denise was born in Bismarck, on September 10th, 1960, to Floyd (Bud) Keator and Beatrice Keator. She attended school in Bismarck and graduated from Century High School in 1979. Following high school she married her love, Mark S. Gierke in Bismarck on June 6th, 1980. Denise and Mark had three children, Jennifer (1981), Christopher (1982), and Elizabeth aka “Toots” (1989). Denise was a stay-at-home mom until Jennifer and Chris reached school age. She then started her working career at Target in Bismarck. She spent 14 years at Target and made many lifelong friends there before she left and spent a short 4-5 years working at JoAnn Fabrics. She left JoAnn’s to work at Med Center One/Sanford and remained there until 2016; she left with two doctor’s that were starting their own practice, Bismarck Psychological Associates, they wanted her to be their front office manager. She loved working for them and stayed there until she was no longer able to work.
Denise loved camping with her family and spending time at Lake Tschida, with her brothers, at her childhood lake cabin that remains in the family. Denise loved to cook and bake. She was famous for her fluffy chocolate chip cookies that no one else can get to turn out. She also enjoyed sewing, knitting and watching the Hallmark channel. Denise was a huge Elvis Presley fan and loved going to Elvis impersonator concerts and collecting Elvis memorabilia. The one thing she loved more than anything was her grandkids. Denise loved being a Bama (grandma) and took every opportunity to spend time with her grandkids. She was such a special Bama, that two of her granddaughters share their middle name with her.
Denise is survived by her husband, Mark Gierke; daughter, Jennifer (Walyn) Vannurden, Mohall, ND; son, Chris (Tess) Gierke, Bismarck; and daughter, Elizabeth (Daryl) Winkler, Lincoln. She is also survived by her six grandchildren, Alaina, Mark and Kahlan Vannurden, Victoria Radke, Cecilia and Olivia Gierke; and her step-grandchildren, Konnor and Kris Winkler; brothers, Gaylen Keator, Mel (Gail) Keator, Ron (Pam) Keator, and Keith (Sherry) Keator; mother-in-law, Vivian Gaschk, Bismarck, and many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews.
Denise was preceded in death by her parents, Floyd (Bud) and Beatrice Keator; her father-in-law, John Gierke Jr.; sister and brother-in-law, Virginia and Jack Werre, and sister-in-law, Linda Keator.
Memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m., July 8th, 2021 at Parkway Funeral Home, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck.