Gerald Donelenko

To view a livestream of the service access  https://www.facebook.com/ibcminot/

Gerald P. ‘Jerry’ Donelenko, 89, Minot and former longtime Kief area farmer, went to his eternal home on Tuesday, September 5, 2023 from a Minot assisted living center.

Gerald was born July 28, 1934, on the farm that his Ukrainian grandparents homesteaded near Kief, ND to Peter and Maggie (Zakopyko) Donelenko. He spent the years of his youth on the farm in Kief assisting his family with the operation of the family farm. He graduated from Kief High School in 1952.

Jerry enlisted into the US Army in November 1954. He served honorably overseas in Austria and Berlin. He was discharged in November 1956.

Jerry was united in marriage to Jeanette Kanko on June 22, 1958 at the Minot Evangelical Church. They lived in Fargo, ND while Jerry attended college at NDSU and Jeanette taught school. Jerry found work with the PCA in Williston, ND and Gering, NE for a few years prior to returning to the Donelenko family farm. They built their home and life there for the next 55 years. Retirement years included winters spent in Florida with a return to the farm every spring. They moved to Minot in 2017 for health reasons.

Jerry was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church of Minot. He served on several boards such as McHenry County Soil Conservation District and Kief Farmer’s Elevator. He enjoyed the outdoors while fishing and hunting, but all took a back seat to time with family. Jerry valued deeply the time spent with them. He was always up for a good game of cribbage. He was extremely proud that he lived and farmed on the Donelenko homestead that has been recognized as a Centennial Farm by the state of North Dakota. Jerry will be remembered for his quiet observant way and ability to provide a perfectly timed poke of fun to family and friends. When he spoke, we listened!

We would also like to extend a special thank you to the staffs of Caring Edge Home Health and Hospice, Elison Assisted Living Center and especially our special friend and caregiver Jennifer “JP” Malmend for the wonderful care provided to Jerry.

Gerald was preceded in death by his parents and wife of 63 years Jeanette.

Gerald is survived by his children Scott (Sharon) Donelenko, Gainesville, FL and daughter Tania (Ronnie) Novak, South Prairie, ND; grandchildren Taylor (Ty) Novak Nygaard, Phoenix, AZ, Jayd Novak (fiancé Danyka Malkowski) and Layne Novak, South Prairie, ND, Macey Donelenko, Mallory Donelenko and Ava Donelenko, all of Gainesville, FL.

Celebration of Life Service: 2:00 p.m. September 16, 2023 at Immanuel Baptist Church, Minot. To view a livestream of the service access  https://www.facebook.com/ibcminot/
Interment: Kief Baptist Cemetery, Rural Kief, ND
Visitation: September 15, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Thomas Family Funeral Home of Minot followed by a prayer service at 7:15 p.m. at the funeral home.
Memorials are preferred to the Kief Baptist Cemetery or to Farm Rescue.


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