Jon G. “Zeke” Gierke, 72 of Wanatah, passed away Monday, March 13, 2023. He was born July 19, 1950 in Chicago, IL to the late Glen and Arlene (Bein) Gierke. Jon was fiercely independent and loved music. For eight years he entertained local fans as a member of Ricky and the Rock.Its. Jon owned rental property near Valparaiso University, renting to students for nearly 30 years. His true passion was for landscaping, attending many courses, becoming a master gardener and pruner, and then sharing his love by operating Jon’s Landscaping for 20 years. Jon loved people and had many friends that valued his honesty, integrity, thoughtfulness, and his deep care and interest in the welfare of others.
Jon is survived by his loving partner, friend, and wife of 52 years, Helen Daehnke; siblings, David A. Gierke and Gina Meadows, nephew and niece, Cale and Libby Hidahl; and step-mother, Peggy Gierke.
In accordance with Jon’s wishes, cremation will take place and a memorial gathering will be held in July to honor Jon.
RIP Jon, We go back a long way, many memories, you will be missed. Condolences to Helen and family, -Bill & Mary Derr
My condolences to Helen, the loving, devoted wife and friend to my brother Jon. I want to express my gratitude to Helen and also to the positive influences Jon had on my life. He was a rebel traveling through life with integrity, honesty, and character by his side. He was very much into right and wrong and puzzled by all the injustices in life. From our many talks on these subjects I became inspired to be a better person. I also have more of a love of nature and music through his influences: He had an extensive collection of lizards, snakes, turtles, and a real love for animals and nature. An excellent guitarist, he enjoyed many a music gathering with his brother David and friends. You can be at peace now, dear brother, after a long, hard ride. With loving memories, -Gina Meadows
I look at Jon as being the "godfather" of our group. He usually had the answer to any question. So wise. And easy going. So lucky to have known him. Thank you, Jon. -Karen Cutter
Jon and I shared a love of music, but beyond that, I'll always remember him as a kind, empathetic friend with whom I shared ideas and experiences. Sadly, I lost touch with him after I moved away from the Northwest Indiana area. But he was a great guy, and he'll be missed by all those who were fortunate enough to have spent some time around him. Needless to say, that includes me. So long, Zeke! -Jerry Carden