In Memory of





Obituary for Eleanor Joan Gerken (Fisk)

Eleanor (Ellie) Joan Gerken, 83, returned home to our Father in Heaven on Friday, January 3, 2020.

She was born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts on February 26, 1936, to the late Olin M. Fisk and Marguerite Hunt. Following high school, Ellie enrolled in Vermont College where she was later voted by her peers as “Snow Queen,” a highly recognized honor. She graduated with her associates in journalism. When she was in her early 40’s, Ellie started and became editor of the Middleburg, Florida newspaper. Her love for writing also inspired her to write children’s stories and were loved by many. While her passion may have been writing, Ellie also had other interests including baking pies, which often won blue ribbons, and soaring the skies as an Airline Stewardess with TWA. She loved babies and animals, and she loved and enjoyed springtime when everything was budding and new. Above all, Ellie will be remembered by those who loved her most as a very loving and nurturing mother of two children. Her children were everything to her and they will miss her until they reunite.

In addition to her parents, Ellie was preceded in death by her grandparents, George E. Fisk and Iva E. “Gram” Barnard, and Herbert L. Hunt and Alice E. DeLand; and her brother, Edward Olin Fisk.

Family remaining to cherish her memory includes her previous spouse, James D. Gerken, Sr.; her children, Susan D. Gerken and James D. “Jim” Gerken, Jr. (Diana); siblings, Faye C. Fortuna and Robert A. Fisk; and grandchildren, Michael, Sophi, and Maylin.

Memorial services to honor Ellie’s life will be conducted at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 18, 2020, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 474 Floyd Highway North, Floyd, Virginia 24091.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made in Ellie’s honor to the Floyd County Humane Society ( or any local humane society of your choice. Online condolences may be expressed by visiting