Florence Clara (Beeler) Gerski was born October 2, 1932, the eldest daughter of John Beeler and Edna (Gendron). Along with her siblings Laura, Eva, Loretta, Albert (deceased in infancy), Gerald, and Gloria, they were raised on a farm near New Osgoode, Saskatchewan.
She was an ambitious individual who, at 16 years old, started her career at the Tisdale Hospital as a nurses’ aide before moving on to work as a cook’s helper at Purdy's Boarding House. In 1951, Florence met the love of her life, Peter Gerski. Florence and Peter enjoyed socializing at local dances in Silver Park, Brooksby, and Resource and dated four years before marrying and being united on September 8, 1955, at the Anglican Church in Melfort, Saskatchewan. In 1957 Florence and Peter welcomed their first child Lyle followed by Joan in 1960. Florence was a committed mother whose selfless love, patience, humour, and kindness were the foundation of her parenting.
Florence was a dedicated and hardworking farmwife who, alongside Pete, built a successful grain and livestock farming operation. Her love for animals was evident in the way she tended to the cattle, pigs, and chickens on the farm. Every year her green thumb was apparent in a beautiful and bountiful garden filled with vegetables, flowers, and fruit trees. In addition to the obligations of being a farmwife, Florence was also a devoted caregiver to her mother-in-law, Mary Gerski, for many years.
Florence was a talented cook and baker, renowned for her delicious and abundant meals, fresh baking, and tasty preserves. Florence would regularly and warmly welcome family, friends, and neighbours into her home. One could be assured that a fresh pot of coffee and lunch, with fresh baking, would be offered. No one ever left Florence’s table hungry. It was with measured pride that Florence would enjoy numerous awards and blue ribbons she claimed for her baking and canning at the local fair in Melfort. Her recipes and many of her baking tips are cherished and will be treasured for generations to come.
Florence and Pete were blessed to become grandparents to Lyle and Jeannie’s children, Marty and Michelle, as well as Joan and Ken’s children, Shawn and Tyler. Grandma’s house was the gathering place for many family meals and visits. She often expressed how much she valued the time she could spend with her grandchildren and welcomed their visits.
Florence was a devout Catholic and a member of the Catholic Women's League and the Royal Purple. Her faith was an integral part of her life that she lived out through her compassion, service, and generosity to others.
In 2013, due to failing health and a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, a difficult decision was made for Florence to become a resident of Parkland Place, where Pete would visit her daily with devotion and love. Her family will always be grateful to the staff of Parkland Place for the care and attention both Florence and Pete received during her residency there.
Florence was a remarkable woman who touched the lives of many. She was predeceased by her siblings, Laura (Frank) Wojciechowski, Loretta (Budd) Ulm, and Albert Beeler; as well as her brother-in-law Nick Ferbey. She leaves to cherish her memory and celebrate her life, her loving husband of 67 years, Pete Gerski; son Lyle (Sally) and daughter Joan (Ken Olson); her siblings Eva Ferbey, Gerald Beeler, and Gloria (Don) Zakariasen. Also left to cherish her memory as a grandmother are her grandson Marty (Lynette) Gerski, and their children Cole (Kristen) Gerski and Alexis Gerski; granddaughter Michelle (Dave Smith) and their children Jackson and Rylea; grandson Shawn (Kim) Olson and their son Zachary; and grandson Tyler (Marli) Olson and their children Jory, Jasper, and Rhodes. Further left to mourn Florence's loss are her Godchild Karen (Ferbey) McKay, and many other nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends.
May Florence always be remembered for her hospitality, kind heart, and warm smile.
Friends so wishing may make memorial contributions to the Parkland Place Residents' Council.