Loree Lynn (Gerdes) Bykerk, Ph.D. Sep 26, 1947 – Nov 30, 2016 Loree Lynn (Gerdes) Bykerk, 69, of Omaha, NE was born on September 26, 1947, in Nemaha County, NE to Harold Thomas and Laura (Behrends) Gerdes. She was baptized on December 1, 1947 and confirmed on May 28, 1961 at St. Johns (Stone) Lutheran Church south of Auburn, NE. Loree attended Muddy School District 41 and later graduated from Bratton Union High School with the Class of 1965. She received a BA from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After graduating, Loree attended Columbia University, obtaining her Masters and Ph.D. in Political Science. On June 1, 1969, Loree was united in marriage to Cecil Bykerk at St. Johns Lutheran Church. To this union, two childrenAndrea and Jeanwere born. The couple moved to their present home in Omaha in 1989. Loree taught Political Science at the University of Nebraska at Omaha for over 32 years before retiring in 2013. After retiring she became a master gardener, which was always her dream. She loved volunteering, gardening, quilting, and spending time with her grandchildren. She was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer almost 9 years ago. She still continued to teach for several more years, her greatest love. She was also able to welcome three grandsons into the world and complete various sewing projects for them as well as spending time reading to them. Loree died at her home in Omaha on November 30, 2016 after having been surrounded by her family throughout her last few days. Numerous tributes to her have been received, some of which are remarkable in regards to how she changed lives. She was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters, Lola Mehlin and Donna Volker, and brothers, Milburn and Lindell Gerdes. Loree is survived by her husband, Cecil Bykerk of Omaha; children: Andrea Christopherson and husband, Rowen Bell of Eden Prairie, MN and Jean Gutheil-Bykerk and husband, Troy of Valley, NE; grandchildren: Liam, Spencer, Teddy, and Lizzy of Eden Prairie, MN and Jaycee, Joshua, Kenneth, and Thomas of Valley, NE; brothers: Dennis Gerdes and his wife, Dorothy of Auburn, NE, Dave Gerdes and his wife, Karen of Springfield, NE; sisters-in-law: Virginia Gerdes and Iva Bolken of Auburn, NE; brother-in-law, Lloyd Volker of Humboldt, NE; many other nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. The family will receive friends Tuesday, Dec. 6th, 5pm to 8pm at the Bel Air Chapel. SERVICES Wednesday, Dec. 7th at 2pm at Morning Star Lutheran Church, 331 S. 85th Ave., followed by a reception in the church fellowship hall. Interment Thursday, Dec. 8th at 11am at St Johns (Stone Church) Lutheran Church in rural Nemaha County, southwest of Auburn, 63289 725th Road, followed by a reception at the Bykerk home, 72745 634th Ave. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be directed to the Loree Bykerk Scholarship Fund for UNO Political Science students at the University of Nebraska Foundation, 1010 Lincoln Mall, Suite 300, Lincoln, NE 68508.
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