Mr. Ira E. (Art) Gherke, 77 - Bridgeport

Mr. Ira E. (Art) Gherke, 77 years of age, of Johnson Avenue, Bridgeport, West Virginia, died Monday, December 22, 2003 at United Hospital Center, Clarksburg, WV.

He was born October 2, 1926, the son of the late Claude and Leota White Gherke.

Mr. Gherke is survived by his wife, Dorris W. Gherke. They celebrated fifty four years of marriage. He is also survived by two brothers and their spouses, Cleburn and Flara Gherke of Grantsville, WV and Oless and Marian Gherke of Woodbridge, VA, one sister-in-law, Lakie Gherke of Grantsville, and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death two brothers, Arlin and Olin Gherke, and a sister, Thelma Pickles.

Mr. Gherke retired with forty years service with the Harrison County Board of Education. He worked in the department of transportation as a school bus operator. He received the Million Mile Award, recognizing a professional driver for logging a million miles without an accident. He was inducted into the National School Bus Drivers Hall of Fame in 1982. He also worked as an auxiliary policeman for the Bridgeport Police Department and retired as a volunteer from the Bridgeport Fire Department.

Mr. Gherke was a member of the Boothsville Baptist Church. He served the church as a deacon, trustee, and a member of the choir. He was a veteran of the US Navy during W.W.II.

The family requests donations be made to Boothsville Baptist Church Improvement Fund or The American Cancer Society.

Friends will be received at Ford Funeral Home, Allen Chapel, 215 East Main Street, Bridgeport, WV on Friday, December 26, 2003 from 2 to 8 p.m.

The funeral service will be celebrated at the funeral home on Saturday, December 27 at 10 a.m., with Rev. Orville Wright officiating. Interment will be in the Collins Cemetery, Stumptown, WV at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.