Patrick Joseph Gerlach

Patrick Joseph GerlachPatrick Joseph Gerlach, of Wing, ND, beloved husband, father, and grandfather died on Thursday, October 11th, 2018 in Cardinal Point on Lake Michigamme, Michigan. Pat was born in Moorhead, Minnesota, on January 10, 1947, to James A. and M. Lucille Gerlach. He graduated from Shanley Catholic High School in 1965. Pat served in the United States Marine Corps, and attended Moorhead State University. He married Lee Gerlach (Dick) of Lisbon, ND in 1969. Pat and Lee had three children, twin girls Stephanie and Christa, and a son, Joseph. Their family called several places home, including Detroit Lakes, MN, Bozeman, MT, Minot, ND and Bismarck, ND.Patrick Joseph Gerlach
Pat first picked up photography as a way to help pay for school and to help out with his father’s print shop. In 1977, after a few years as a newspaper journalist and editor, he found his calling as a wildlife photographer. Pat spent the next 40 years working through the lens to share nature’s story with the world. He traveled from coast to coast making photographs and showing his work in art shows and galleries. In 1999, Pat followed his heart to a ranch on the prairie in Wing, ND. He maintained this home and photography workshop there with the tireless efforts of his assistant and friend, Joanne Braun. On September 18th, 2008, Pat married Celeste Bernadette North. The two traveled together, showing their art across Patrick Joseph GerlachAmerica.
Berni and Pat were fond of the time they were able to spend with all of their cherished friends, especially Tom & Denise McMurrain and Rich & Mary McCollum. Pat was diagnosed with cancer in 2015. Although the disease would eventually take his life, he was always grateful for the perspective it provided him. In spite of health issues, his last three and a half years were the best of his life. Thanks to Berni’s enduring love and care, Pat was able to take precious time to more fully experience the joy of his family and the beauty of the world. He is preceded in death by his daughter, Christa Lee Gerlach (1974), his mother, M. Lucille Gerlach (1980) his father, James A. Gerlach (1987), his brother, Michael S.Patrick Joseph Gerlach Gerlach (2013) and his brother-in-law, David Lester (1994) and his nephew Seth Dick (2012).
Pat was a very proud parent and grandparent. He and Berni loved sharing stories of their family with all of their friends. Pat is survived by his daughter, Stephanie Jongeward and her children Braden and Bryce of Fargo, ND. He is survived by his son, Joseph and daughter-in-law Andrea (LaBore) and their children Emily and William of Denver, CO and Berni’s children, Jonathan and Lindsey McMahon of Louisville, KY and Thom and Holli McMahon of Nashville, TN. He is survived by his sisters Kathryn Lester, Ann Gerlach Ulmer, and Jane Patrick Joseph GerlachWilliams, as well as brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Jim Ulmer, Mark Williams, Renee Gerlach, Martha Therese Crump, Harry Hutton, Christine Bochert, Mary Jo Paladino, Ann Schmidt, and Cheryl Rumer.
Pat was also a caring uncle and is survived by many nephews and nieces, Timothy Lester, Jennifer Pepple, James Nathan Gerlach, Megan Gerlach, Jesse Ulmer, Matt Ulmer, Lacey Cobb, Cody Williams, Ben Williams, Travis Dick, Tonia Carlson, Jeremiah Dick, Joshua Dick, Jessica Hapala, Nathan Dick, Cassandra Dick, and Shea Dick. In lieu of a funeral service, Pat and Berni gathered close friends and family to share stories and celebrate his life together with him in June of 2018. All are welcome to continue thisPatrick Joseph Gerlach celebration by following his website at Instead of gifts or flowers, please consider honoring Pat’s memory and love of the Parks by contributing to the National Park Foundation directly (, or by contributing to Pat’s memorial campaign at Friends and family of Pat’s are also invited to our facebook group page to continue the celebration of his life.

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