John "Butch" Gierke III, passed away on February 3, 2024.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00PM, Thursday, February 15, 2024 at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck. You are invited to join the family in the Parkway Community Room for fellowship, coffee and cake.
John Gierke III (Butch or JohnBoy), 66 years old, passed away on Saturday, February 3rd, 2024 at a local hospital after a courageous battle with cancer.
John was born July 4th, 1957 in Bismarck, North Dakota. His mom was always grateful she didn’t get time to put the eggs in the potato salad! He grew up on a dairy farm 18 miles northeast of Bismarck and attended Naughton school through eighth grade an old-fashioned one room school house with no water or indoor plumbing. He came into town school and graduated from Century High in 1977.
When the farm was sold, he had several different “careers” over the years. He worked for a seismograph company exploring for oil in several western states. He told the tale of riding out an earthquake in California in one of the big trucks.
One winter he traveled with a beekeeper and his bees to Panama City Beach, Florida. Once there, he decided to stay a while and found work in a plastic factory, making your red plastic beer cups. While he enjoyed his time in the sunshine, he missed home more. Once back, he was asked if he would manage a cattle ranch in the mountains of Montana near Helena. Those of you who knew Butch knew he should have been born when there were real mountain men and gold prospectors! When that ranch was eventually sold, he found work with Pegasus Mining company in the area. They are a big open-pit gold mining company and he operated one of the huge dump trucks. During this time, he was able to do some personal prospecting in various back-of-beyond mountainous areas. Mostly in streams, but sometimes in old abandon mineshafts. His mother would rather have not known (or found out) about that! John could also build you a house from digging the hole in the ground right up to the last shingle on the roof and all of the inside mill work. And it would be level, plumb and square!
John eventually returned to Bismarck after reconnecting with his high-school sweetheart, Shari Lachenmeier, on a visit home. They were together until her death in 2022. He finished his working career with S & B Landscaping as one of their landscapers until the firm closed. It wasn’t long after that that he started his battle with three different cancers.
John is survived by his mother, Vivian Gaschk; brother, Mark Gierke, Bismarck and his sister, Terri Burns (Stewart) in Medford, OR. Other family members include Jenn and Walyn Vannurden, children Alaina, Mark D. and Kahlan; Chris and Tess Gierke with two daughters, Cecilia and Olivia; Liz and Daryl Winkler and blended family Victoria, Konnor and Kris; Mitch, Della and Ashley Gaschk; Cheryl (Gaschk), Tom and Niko Miller with his wife Brittany and two sons, Hudson and Grayson in Indiana; DeeAnn (Gaschk) Werre, her daughters, Amanda (Tyler) Welk with girls Brooklyn and Eva and Ariel Bibb of Bismarck: Alex Bibb and her fiancé, Derek Miller live in Dickinson; Also a step-sister, Michele (Gaschk) and Larry Ripplinger of Mandan. There are several aunts, uncles and cousins scattered around the country.
John was preceded in death by his father, John Gierke, Jr.; wife, Shari Lachenmeier and a step-brother, Bryan Gaschk.