The Rev. Gary J. Kurka

Sept. 19, 1955-Aug. 30, 2013

BRUCE, S.D. – Services took place Sept. 2 for The Rev. Gary J. Kurka, 57, of Bruce, S.D., at the Estelline School Gymnasium. Burial will be at Woodlawn Cemetery, Sheldon, Wis. Geise Funeral Home of Estelline is handling the arrangements.

He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January 2013 and died on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Gary J. Kurka was born Sept. 19, 1955, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended Minnesota Bible College in Rochester, receiving his degree in religion and biblical studies. Gary was united in marriage to Mary Jo Burch on Dec. 27, 1975, in Sheldon, Wis. He served as a pastor in churches in Wisconsin, Minnesota and South Dakota. Gary also taught school, coached basketball, and worked for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Gary was currently serving as the pastor of Preston Christian Church near Bruce, S.D.

Gary’s main passion in life was sharing Jesus Christ with others. Gary can be described as a person who loved talking to people, lending a helping hand and was a friend to all he met.

He is survived by his fianc Luann Hughbanks of Bruce; one daughter Sara Strickfaden (Kyle) and their children, Grace, Noah, Jack and Kate from Norwood Young America; three sons, Will of Marshall, Grant and Ethan of Bruce; one brother Bob Kurka (Bev) of Lincoln, Ill.; one sister Sherry Pierson (Brian) of North Mankato; several nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Gary was preceded in death by his wife Mary Jo, his son James, and his parents. and his father-in-law Jim Burch.