Cover photo for Jean L. Gerstenberger's Obituary
Jean L. Gerstenberger Profile Photo
1929 Jean 2023

Jean L. Gerstenberger

March 6, 1929 — October 5, 2023

Our sweet 94-year old Mother, Jean Louise Gerstenberger, born March 6, 1929, was called home by Jesus, her Lord and Savior, on October 5, 2023.  Ten years (plus a few hours) before, her husband of 67 years, Richard "Rich" Gerstenberger, preceded Mom to heaven on October 4, 2013.  Mom and Dad lived nearly all their married years in Trout Creek, bringing up their 4 children, Judy Weare, Laurel Jackson, Richard A. Gerstenberger, and Nancy Thompson.  Jean's family tree grew to a total of 27 consisting of 9 grandchildren,  13 great-grandchildren, and 5 great-great-grandchildren.


Mom would want us to acknowledge our husbands who supported us and did so much to assist Mom in her later years. Mick Weare, Paul Thompson and Preston Jackson.  


Mom and Dad also welcomed with open arms and hearts many step great and great-great grandchildren.


Mom was born in Wyoming, but grew up in Idaho, and went to school in St. Maries. Her family moved to Trout Creek when she was in the 8th grade, where she attended a one-room schoolhouse on Swamp Creek Road, and then went to high school in Noxon.  


For a Mother's Day celebration in 2018, our family gathered for a picnic at one of our favorite places, the Bull River Campground. The main event that day was playing a game we called "How well do you know your grandmother?"  The game provided the generations with sweet memories and some surprises. Here are just a few. Mom's very first job was punching tickets at the School lunchroom for which she received an annual salary of $5.  One of her High School teachers was Mary Harker from Heron. Mary had barely graduated from college so she was almost the same age as Mom. Fast forward to 1996, Pastor Mary Harker attended Mom and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary to help celebrate with prayer and blessing for the next 17 years of marriage.  Mom's second job paid a little better but was no picnic. During the summer she lived in a tent with three other girls and rode horseback all day long after being hired by the Conservation District to rid the Farmland of gophers.  


Mom went to work for the US Postal Service in 1970 until 1988. She very much enjoyed serving the community while performing a very critical job before the days of computers and email. We always wondered if her love of the post office started the day that her grandmother "mailed" a puppy from Grangeville to Mom in St. Maries.


We are very proud of our Mom's work to help form the Trout Creek Rural Fire District. In 1981 Mom went door to door to help in collecting signatures from at least 50% of the landowners so that a petition could be taken to the County Commissioners to formally establish the fire district which is still serving the community today.


It's difficult to summarize a life of 94 years, but we wanted to acknowledge the countless days that Mom spent driving us to piano lessons, 4-H meetings, School sports, attending PTA meetings, serving as secretary for Green Mountain Soil Conservation District, and the TV district, being a US census taker, a gardener, enjoying golf and bowling with Daddy.  Mom was an excellent seamstress, and completed over 40 quilts for her family as she enjoyed her many years of friendship and learning while being a part of the Flat Iron Quilt Guild.


Please join us in celebrating Mom's life at a graveside service at the Whitepine Cemetery on Friday, October 13th at noon, folliwed by a luncheon at the Cabinet Mountain Bible Church in Trout Creek (mile marker 30, 3006 Hwy 200) Mom was a member of St. Williams Parish. Deacon, Ron Kazmierczak, a long-time family friend, will officiate the services.  We would also like to thank Father Jeff for all his support.


If anyone would like to make a memorial in honor of Jean, the family suggests the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or American Diabetes Association.


Family and friends are invited to sign Jean’s online guest book at


Arrangements are under the care of Coffelt Funeral Service.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jean L. Gerstenberger, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Friday, October 13, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Pacific time)

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