Jean Ann Gersema, 68

Jean Ann Gersema, age 68, of Parkersburg, Iowa, was born the daughter of August Sr. and Virginia Mae (Munger) Meester on April 3, 1955, in the car on the way to the hospital between Fern and Grundy Center, Iowa, in Colfax Township. She graduated from Parkersburg High School in 1973 and continued her education at Hawkeye Tech in Waterloo with a degree in Dental Hygiene. Jean worked for a dentist in Waterloo until her son, Peter, was born.

On October 18, 1975, Jean was united in marriage with Michel G. Bass at the Reformed Church of Stout in Stout, Iowa. To this union two children were born, Peter M. and Jessica A. The couple briefly made their home in Waterloo after Peter was born before moving to a farm southwest of Parkersburg where Jessica was born in 1982. Throughout this time Jean was a homemaker, volunteered at the school, and helped her mother with the egg route. She learned to play the piano from the age of seven years and later the organ as a teenager. She played the organ and was Choir Director at the Reformed Church of Stout and First Congregational Church for many years. Jean later returned to Hawkeye Tech to further her education by receiving an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. She worked at Kingsley Elementary in Waterloo for 2 years before accepting a position as a Teacher’s Associate for the Aplington-Parkersburg school system where she worked for 26 years, retiring in 2023. In 2000, Michel was diagnosed with ALS and Jean was his primary caregiver until his death in 2005. On July 12, 2008, Jean was united in marriage to Rick L. Gersema at the First Congregational Church in Parkersburg. The couple continued to make their home on the farm southwest of town until moving to their newly constructed home in Parkersburg in 2018. 

Jean was an active member of the First Congregational Church in Parkersburg for more than 30 years. She played the organ and piano for worship services, served as Choir Director for 23 years, was a volunteer for Vacation Bible School, sang and played for Praise and Worship teams, and was a member of the Ladies Guild. Jean was also a member of the Parkersburg Historical Society where she served on the Board of Directors alongside her husband Rick.

In her spare time, she enjoyed cooking and baking for others, singing, playing piano, antiquing, watching cooking shows and mystery movies. Most of all she enjoyed spending time with family and friends. She especially loved traveling to spend time with her grandchildren.  

On February 9, 2024, Jean passed away at Unity Point Allen Hospital in Waterloo, Iowa, of natural causes related to an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer. She is preceded in death by her husband Michel Bass; parents; and one sister, Bea Schnell. 

Jean is survived by her loving husband, Rick L. Gersema of Parkersburg; son, Peter M. (Kandace) Bass of Polk City, IA; daughter Jessica A. (Nick) Schrock of Lee’s Summit, MO; four grandchildren, Evelyn, Micah, Mason, and Annie Schrock; brother, August Meester Jr of Waterloo, IA; brother-in-law, Joe Schnell of Waverly, IA; and several nieces and nephews. 

Funeral Services were held 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 14, 2024, at the First Congregational Church in Parkersburg, with Pastor Brian Koelsch officiating. Pianist Randy Brocka accompanied the congregation in singing, “Great is Thy Faithfulness” and “At Calvary”. Jessica Schrock shared special family memories and Hailey Schneiderman and Courtney Juilfs sang  “My Jesus I Love Thee”. Burial was held in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Parkersburg, with Dan Schnell, Josh Schnell, Dustin Sullivan, Craig Schrage, Travis Kolder, and Eric Johnson serving as Casketbearers. Nancy Schrage was in charge of the Flower Committee

Visitation was held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, at the First Congregational Church. Memorials may be directed to the First Congregational Church or the Parkersburg Historical Society. Online condolences may be left at


Parkersburg Eclipse News-Review

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