WOODVILLE - Shad Israel Gerken, 34, went home to the Lord on September 27, 2014, after a courageous battle with mental illness.
Shad grew up in Dayton, Ohio, where he became an All-Ohio football player and a life long fan of the Chicago Bears. After high school, Shad traveled to Colorado where he fell in love with the Rocky Mountains and guided dog sledding trips there. Shad met the love of his life, Melissa, while they were working together at a wilderness program for at-risk teens in Wyoming. In 2003, they moved to Maine and built their own home in the woods. Shad was an avid outdoorsman, and enjoyed hiking, snowshoeing, search and rescue, tracking, and spending time enjoying nature. He graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in Philosophy and continued his studies at Bangor Theological Seminary. Shad always had a deep desire to help anyone in need. Most of all, Shad enjoyed spending time with his family and his beloved bullmastiffs and huskies. He was an adoring and devoted "Dada" to his three children, and he particularly enjoyed reading to them, cheering them on at their sports, and coming up with any excuse to have a family pizza and movie night.
In addition to his wife and children, Shad is survived by his parents, Butch and Tawnie Gerken, sister, Kurie Drummond, brothers, Cory and Kristopher Gerken, and numerous other relatives, all of Ohio; as well as his Church Family.
A celebration of Shad's life will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5 at Mattawamkeag Church of God, with Pastor Mark York officiating. A reception will follow the memorial service. All are welcome to attend. Those who wish may sign an online register and leave written condolences at www.clayfuneralhome.com.