Kent LeRoy Gearhart was born on March 5, 1947 to Merle Orin Gearhart and Lois Jean (McCormick) Gearhart in Webster City, IA. As a young boy he was very active in the Methodist Church, participating in youth activities and bible studies and continued to speak fondly of those times. He attended Eagle Grove High School and graduated in 1965.
After graduation, he attended Eagle Grove Jr College on a Basketball Scholarship, graduating in 1967, (notably Kent played on the 1964-65 Eagle Grove Varsity Basketball Team ending the season 14/0 leading into the playoffs), also attending Iowa State University. Kent and Muriel (Keppers) Gearhart were united in marriage on March 22, 1969 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Eagle Grove, Iowa. They remained lifetime members of the church, Kent achieving 4th Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus. Kent joined the United States Air Force on July 3rd 1968, and served in Turkey as a Tele-Communications Engineer during the Vietnam War until his honorable discharge March 31st, 1972. Kent joined Muriel’s family farm operated by Roger Peter Keppers (Eleanor) in 1972, taking over the operation in 1988. In addition to building a successful farming operation, Kent worked for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance and Farmers National Company for 22 years until he retired in 2014 to enjoy relaxation and travel with Muriel and his family.
Kent and Muriel celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary on March 22, 2019 in the presence of their family, a loving testament of the life they shared together. While raising his children, Kent enjoyed coaching his kid’s softball, baseball and basketball teams. Kent enjoyed coaching and teaching the kids and their friends for over 14 years, has been cherished and loved by all who have met him. Kent received his coaching certificate in 2019 as he wanted to share his knowledge and skills and help coach and provide support to the Eagle Grove High School basketball team. Kent also enjoyed golfing, woodworking, hunting, ‘working at the lake’, traveling to Alaska, Ireland, South Padre Texas, Maine and taking numerous side trips with this wife. He was a lifetime resident of Wright County and was a member of many organizations over his lifetime. Some of which include: Wright County Soil Conservation Board, Eagle Grove School Board, Past President, Wright County Zoning Board, Wright Co. Land Use & Preservation Board, Member of the American Legion, Eagle Grove Jaycees, Farmers CO-OP Woolstock ~ Board Member, Eagle Grove Country Club ~ Board Member and Sacred Heart Parish Counsel.
Kent passed away on Monday, July 6, 2020 at the age of 73. He was preceded in death by his parents, Merle (Bud) Gearhart and Lois (McCormick) Gearhart, son-in-law Mario A. Rosales, and brother-in-law Donald Hicks.
Survivors include his wife Muriel of over 51 years and histhree children: Kristopher Gearhart (Yolanda), Karrie Gearhart (Paul), and Kendrick Gearhart (Jessica). Sisters: Marcia Hicks of Centralia, IL, LuAnn (Gordy) Mersch of Eagle Grove, IA and sister in-law Kathleen St. John (James) of South Saint Paul, MN. Six grandchildren; Nicholas, Sebastian, Maria Jose’, Karlehna, Austin, Cody, and Ryker. Nieces and nephews: Tony (Collen) Hicks, Jim Hicks, Sheri Pauly (Trent), Randall (Joice) Mersch, Scott Mersch, Pamela Girgen (Teal), Patrick St. John (Paula), Kristin St. John, Laura McDonell (Patrick) and numerous grand- nephews and nieces.
Visitation will be held at Foust Funeral home in Eagle Grove on Thursday, July 9th from 4 to 7 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 2 pm on Friday July 10th at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Eagle Grove with Father Jerry Blake, Celebrating followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery, Eagle Grove, IA.
Any memorials received will be given to the Wounded Warrior Project in Kent’s honor.
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Wounded Warrior Project
7020 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville FL 32256