Mylo A. Gerken

December 18, 1926 ~ August 17, 2018 (age 91)

Mylo A. Gerken, 91, of Defiance, passed away peacefully on Friday morning, August 17, 2018 at the Laurels of Defiance.
He was born on December 18, 1926 to the late Albert and Eleanora (Boehm) Gerken in Mark Township in Defiance County. Mylo was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church of Defiance, and a 1944 graduate of Ayersville High School. He continued his education at Defiance College and Bowling Green State University, attaining his teaching degree. 

During Mylo's career, he taught Industrial Arts, Driver's Education, coached track and cross-country at Tinora, Continental, and Ayersville High Schools. He also coached baseball, basketball, and was a basketball referee. After retiring from Ayersville High School, he coached cross-country at Defiance College.

Mylo was a successful cross-country coach, leading his runners to numerous state finals and a team state championship in 1975, along with two individual runner state championships. In 1986 he was inducted into the Ohio Track and Cross-Country Coaches Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Ayersville High School Hall of Fame in 2018. Mylo had a positive impact on many students through the years, and will be missed by many. He was a friend to all and never met a stranger during his life's journey. 

In 1949 he married Alice Jones, who preceded him in death in 1977. Two sons survive, James Gerken of Joplin, MO, and Michael (Darla) Gerken of Defiance, and four grandchildren.  In 1978 he married Pauline (Damman) Hohenberger, who preceded him in death in 2011. He is survived by three step-children, Daniel Kruse of Hamler, Roger Kruse of Perrysburg, and Michelle (Craig) Parsons of Defiance, and eight grandchildren.  

He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Doris Gerken, stepbrothers, William Gerken, Carl Gerken, Richard Gerken, Walter Gerken, Herman Gerken, and Arnold Gerken. 

Visitation will be held from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on Friday, August 24, 2018 at Schaffer Funeral Home in Defiance. A Memorial Service will follow at 2:00 pm at the funeral home, with Rev. Donald L. Luhring officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. John's Lutheran Church. Online condolences can be given at

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