Roberta (Bobbie) Marie Gerken, 64, of Orange, CA, passed away on May 16, 2023 after
complications from COVID-19 and Pneumonia caused heart failure.
Bobbie was born on April 16, 1959 to Richard and Mary Arend in Elmhurst, IL. She
moved with her parents and older sister Jackie to Villa Park, CA in 1972. She attended
Villa Park High School where she enjoyed acting in the theater and playing volleyball.
Volleyball was also how she met her husband Michael. They married January 31, 1981
and spent 42 wonderful years together. Bobbie gave birth to two daughters, Katie in
1990 and Hayley in 1994.
After going on disability in 1990 due to her Rheumatoid Arthritis, Bobbie focused on
raising her family and volunteering as much as possible. She was very active at St.
Paul’s Lutheran Church singing in the choir, participating in Women’s Ministries and
bible studies, and for many years helping put on plays during the summer in the church
gym. She was a fierce advocate for those who shared her illnesses, both arthritis and
later amputation. She was a certified peer visitor for the Amputee Coalition after losing
both of her legs, first in 2016 and then in 2019.
Bobbie loved to craft and spent lots of time quilting and scrapbooking, passions she
shared with her sister Jackie. She enjoyed going out with her friends and was part of the
Red Hat Society for many years. She loved going to Anaheim Ducks games with
Michael, cooking with Katie and watching Hayley play volleyball. Bobbie was a warrior
and an inspiration for so many people. She loved her friends and family, and filled her
home with warmth and kindness. She was a follower of Christ and is now singing in
Heaven with Him. We will miss her greatly.
Bobbie was preceded in death by her mother Mary and father Richard Arend. She is
survived by her husband Michael, daughters Katie and Hayley; sister and brother-in-law
Jackie and John Aleccia and their children Christopher and Jordan; Michael’s sister and
brother-in-law Bonnie and David Krenz and their children Paul, Lisa, Hannah and Jon;
Michael’s brother and sister-in-law Stewart and Mary Gerken and their children Corey,
Vince, Jobie and Carl; as well as a host of cousins and great nieces and nephews
throughout the United States.
There will be a service at 11am on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at St Paul’s Lutheran
Church, 1250 E. Heim Ave., Orange, CA 92865. The service will be followed with a
joyful Celebration of Life at 12pm at the Orange Crest Mobile Park clubhouse, 5215 E.
Chapman Ave., Orange, CA, 92869. Please note parking is somewhat limited and
carpooling is encouraged.
The family requests that flowers be sent to St Paul’s Lutheran Church at 1250 E. Heim
Ave., Orange, CA 92865 to be displayed during the service or in lieu of flowers the
family asks that any donations be made to the Amputee Coalition in Bobbie’s name at
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