Cover photo for Gerald Serhienko's Obituary
Gerald Serhienko Profile Photo
1947 Gerald 2024

Gerald Serhienko

November 18, 1947 — June 18, 2024


 Gerald “Jerry” Serhienko, 76, of Mandan, died Thursday, June 18, 2024, following a short battle with cancer. 

Serhienko was born in his family home, Killdeer, N.D., on Nov. 18, 1947, to John and Katherine (Kukla) Serhienko. He graduated high school from Killdeer in 1965, then enlisted in the United States Navy during the Vietnam war, where he served a short stint on a submarine, before transferring to the U.S.S. Finch. He was honorably discharged in 1967. Serhienko met his wife-to-be Connie Petersen (Washburn, N.D.) during the historic Zip-to-Zap event in 1969. The couple married Sept. 6, 1969, in Washburn, N.D., and made their home in Mandan, N.D., for all of their married life. The couple raised two children, Nikki Laine (Serhienko) Zinke, 53, and David Serhienko, 52. 

Professionally, Serhienko worked in the accounting field for most of his adult life, retiring in November 2009 from his position with the North Dakota Child Support Enforcement Unit, Bismarck, N.D. He had earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Mary College, Bismarck, N.D.

In addition to his lifelong involvement as a guitarist, singer and performer in numerous area bands, including the Melody Knights, Mark IV, and Tapestry, among others, Serhienko is best known for his work as a long-time community activist, promoting music and the arts in the Mandan-Bismarck area. Some of his many service projects and initiatives included: teaching free guitar lessons; serving as a Mandan City Commissioner; fundraising for and founding the Vern Cermak Bandshell in Dykshoorn Park, downtown Mandan; and founding Mandan’s premiere annual live entertainment events Buggies-n-Blues and Kaleidoscope. He was an active member of the Plainsmen Shrine, Al’s Big Band, the Musicians Union Local 229 and later Musicians Association, as well as numerous other community groups and events.

Serhienko collected stamps and coins; loved old houses and woodworking, and was particularly proud of the custom wrap-a-round porch he built by hand as an add-on to his Fifth Avenue N.W. Mandan home. He enjoyed camping and fishing, holidays (especially Halloween and Christmas), and was a die-hard Minnesota Vikings fan.

He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Deloris Schutts, Richard, and William. 

Survivors include his wife Connie: daughter Nikki, Fingal, N.D.; son David, Valley City, N.D.; grand-daughter Alexa (Seth Rosenberg) Zinke, Medford, Mass.; and his Lhaso Apso Tom and Yorkshire Terrier Ben.

A Celebration of Life service honoring Gerald “Jerry” Serhienko will be held Friday, June 28, 2024, at the Vern Cermak Bandshell in Dykshoorn Park, downtown Mandan, as well as the adjoining Community Room and patio of the Mandan-Morton Public Library. The gathering will include live music. Attending friends and family are asked to dress casually and bring lawn chairs. The remembrance service and celebration starts at 3 p.m.

A private interment service will be held later at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery, on Monday, July 1, 2024.


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