Sunny Dawn (Gerhart) Park

December 1, 1971

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April 15, 2021

Sunny Dawn (Gerhart) Park

December 1, 1971

-

April 15, 2021

Sunny Dawn (Gerhart) Park

On Dec. 1, 1971, Sunny Dawn (Gerhart) Park was born in Temple, Texas, to Mack Smoke Gerhart and Annie Jeanne Bordner. She is survived by her sweet daughters, Ashten and Berkley; her sister Sherellen and husband Jon; brother Kyle and wife Alicia; brother Shane and wife Elena; Smokey and Brenda Gerhart; Jeanne and Frank Hoffman; and a long list of extended family.

Gone too soon, Sunny Dawn Park passed away on Thursday, April 15, 2021. The mother of Ashten and Berkley could light up any room that she walked into and strike up a conversation with anyone in it. Within 30 minutes you would know her life story and she would know yours. You would have made a lifelong friend. She was emphatic: full of love, life and energy. She always rooted for the underdog and made everyone feel at home. Status was of little importance to her, and she saw everyone as equal. She was voted “friendliest” in high school and carried that title until she passed.

Sunny loved being a mom. She always felt that it was what she was placed here to do. She got the most comfort out of being with Ashten and Berkley and wanted the best for them in everything they did. If they were ever threatened, the entire force of Sunny would be unleashed to protect them. And it was fierce; they would be protected. She was always up for a good game of Yahtzee, Old Maid or Apples to Apples (#rosaparksalwayswins). She had a hard time keeping a straight face in Old Maid and you couldn’t be too literal in Apples to Apples.

She had the most beautiful eye for design and found peace in creating a home. Her love for flowers shown through in her landscaping projects.

Sunny always had a level of drive and perseverance that most of us could never match. When she wanted to do something, she wouldn’t stop until it was just perfect. This was especially evident in her many years spent at Billings Clinic. So much of her identity came from serving others and making processes the most efficient from all aspects from which they could be analyzed. Her heart was with the patients.

Growing up in Texas, Sunny really enjoyed becoming a cheerleader in high school. She cheered competitively and for sporting events when she was young, and then she cheered for people daily for the rest of her life. She was exactly what a cheerleader is supposed to be, both for sporting events and in life. She was never really a sports fan; she was a people fan.

Sunny never realized how much she impacted other people’s lives. She was driven by knowing she was helping someone, even if it meant she gave up everything to do it. There are no words or enough pages to detail everything about her. She was unique and amazing. She was the definition of her name, Sunny Park.

Finding peace is hard, and she fought every single day looking for it. She studied it, researched it, performed all of the tasks that she was told would lead her there, but just couldn’t quite find it. It wasn’t there for her to find. She had one last option that she held back from because of her children. But eventually she couldn’t hang on any longer. We know that you have finally found peace, Sunny, we can all feel it. And many years down the road when we get to see you again, we will be excited to see your smile, and you soaking in the sun doing the things you love. We will take it down here; everything will be ok. A light burned out last week that we will never get to see again, but will always cherish. You are unforgettable and we will never stop thinking about you. You will always be with us and we will always love you.

Join us at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 23, at Harvest Church, 1235 W. Wicks Lane, Billings, to celebrate Sunny.

Sunny loves flowers, but if you would prefer to make a donation in her name, consider the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Sunny’s Memorial Fund at the link below.

https://afsp.donordrive.com/campaign/Team-Sunny-SafePlace

Donations may be made to Sunny’s daughters in their names at Stockman Bank.

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40 thoughts on “Sunny Dawn (Gerhart) Park”

  1. Brenda and Ron Frisbie

    Sunny…just like your name. Go rest your beautiful, peaceful soul. You will always be missed and loved.

  2. Sending love and prayers. She was such a bright ray of sunshine that would always cheer anyone up. Rest easy my friend. CCHS Class of 90

  3. Sunny, you will be missed beyond belief. You are such a ray of sunshine, and I wish you had seen your worth. I pray for your girls as they continue without their amazing mother. May you rest in peace.

    1. Jennifer Martell

      Billings Clinic’s light is a lot dimmer this last week with you gone my friend. I hope you know how much you were valued. Thank you for touching many people’s lives.

  4. What a beautiful tribute written about Sunny. I am truly sorry for your loss. Please accept my deepest and most sincere condolences and may Sunny’s soul rest in eternal peace.

  5. Kathryn Waitman

    Sunny was truly driven to make the computer program work effectively and specifically! She was amazing to watch as she worked through several different screens at the same time! I was amazed watching her as you could actually see her brain clicking at the speed of 💡. She welcomed me into the Billings Clinic family and always had that bright smile shining….she will be missed!

  6. Sunny may you Rest In Peace. You will be missed by those of us who knew you. I will cherish our friendship and all the memories of the great times we had together.

  7. Christie L Roberts

    Dear Sweet Sunny….my heart aches for you and your family. I sure will miss your smile and kinds words. You were always a GOOD friend and there when needed to lend an ear. I know you were so proud of your daughters. A few weeks ago I noticed I had not seen anything on social media from you and noticed you were gone from FB, etc. It made me miss you then and I will miss you often. Love you my friend, Christie (Helmke) Roberts.

  8. One of the things I remember most other than her being the kindest human I knew, was her accomplishments as a nurse. Her career was very important to her along with her family. She worked hard to be a great nurse, and she was a great nurse! She had great accomplishments in her career that she took pride in. Her patients, coworkers and friends and family all loved her. She touched so many with her presence in this world. We will all miss her! Rest easy my dear friend ❤️

  9. Tricia Murray Alexander

    Sunny a beautiful person inside and out. Rest In Peace sweet friend. CCHS 89
    Prayers to your friends and family. 🙏🏻❤️

  10. I am so sorry for your loss. Her name truly reflected her sweet, warm personality. A great and very knowledgeable nurse who was always willing to share and help others. May Jesus bless and comfort the family. Aileen Rogers (retired RN from Billings Clinic)

  11. LeAnn (Riordan) Norman

    I have so many great memories of Sunny from a lifetime ago. What I remember most from her in recent years though, is how much she adored her girls. Praying peace over her family as you navigate this loss. May her sweet soul rest easy now.

  12. I knew Sunny as a superachiever at work. She could accomplish the impossible — smart, caring, dedicated to doing her best , and passionate about everything she took on– that is how I knew Sunny to be always— always ready to help someone out–even when she was overloaded. She left an indelible mark on the work and people she touched.

  13. Michelle Nelson

    Sunny you were a smile that lit up a room. I will never forget all the chats and fun we had sharing an office at the blood center. Even though our career paths took is in different directions, I will always cherish our friendship and the hello’s when we would unexpectedly see each other around town. Until we meet again. Rest In Peace.

  14. OH Sunny how sad I am to see this. Will always remember you and all those days at the water park long ago with our kids when they were young. I didn’t know the last time I saw you out that would be the last time. Thank you for gracing our lives. And to Sunny’s family may God’s peace rest on you in this difficult time. Sunny’s life made a difference to the world.

  15. I am so sorry to learn of Sunny’s death. I enjoyed working with her at St. V’s several years ago. She brightened each day with her presence.

  16. So heartbreaking! Mental illness is deep. You never see a persons struggles from the outside. Her smile was always there and so contagious that no one knew she was hurting inside.

  17. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angles, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
    Romans 8:38-39

  18. Sweet Sunny…I am so deeply saddened to hear about you leaving this world…and even sadder that you felt such despair. I would have never known that by knowing you. There was a time that we spent some fun time together making memories…Ashten was just a little girl. A spitting image of her mommy and just as kind and beautiful as you…even at such a young age. My heart hurts for your girls but I am certain they know how much you love them. We have run into each other over the years and it was always fun to catch up…your smile was always infectious. This world is going to miss you like crazy Sunny… ♥

  19. I was so sorry to hear about Sunny. I did not know her well and only for a short time at BC. I am so sorry she could not find help. I recently lost another friend to mental illness. We need more mental health services in Billings. Prayers and thoughts for her family.

  20. Sunny was such a light in everyone’s life! – she gave her profession ‘her all’ and we all appreciated her presence each and every day – I am so saddened to know that I will never enjoy her smile and infectious personality again – she will never be forgotten in our memories! – RIP! –

  21. This saddens me immensely. What a light, extinguished too soon. God bless her and her family. Misty Meyer

  22. Nicole Hilton Kee

    I am so saddened to hear about Sunny’s passing. I remember her from high school as a bubbly, energetic, warm, and caring person. My thoughts and prayers are with her daughters and family. Sunny, Rest In Peace.

    Nicole “Hilton” Kee

  23. Dee Dee Longenecker

    Sending love and strength to Sunny’s family. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sunny and I were classmates and cheerleaders together in high school, she the tiny body flying up from the basket tosses, me the super tall gal at the bottom of every pyramid – never a “flyer.” Sunny lit up the school with her sweet disposition. Sounds like she continued to light up rooms for the rest of her life. I’m lucky to have known her for a little while, and hope she and her lovely family find peace.

  24. Oh Sunny, you are at peace now. You will be missed by many. I will always remember your beautiful smile!! You always said we were Steel Magnolia’s. Of course you were Shelby and I was old Wheezer. When you left Texas for Montana you gave me a magnolia to never forget you. Rest in Peace sweet friend. Heaven has gained a beautiful angel.

  25. Ashten, thinking of you and your sister. Very sad to hear of the passing of your mother. Your are in my thoughts and prayers.

  26. Words cannot express the loss of someone like you! You had the kindest gentlest spirit, all that knew you loved you, even if you thought you were a “messy plate of spaghetti”. Those that got the opportunity to be embraced with your presence felt loved! Rest in Peace My Friend until We Meet Again in Heaven!

  27. I am so sorry to hear about Sunny. I worked with her in Temple, Texas. She was always a breathe of fresh air! Her sweet smile and a great nurse. She will be missed by all. She touched many hearts. My prayers go out to her daughters and her family.

  28. Sunny
    Thank you for your friendship and for always being so kind to me. You were one of the first people I met at Billings Clinic and I am forever grateful. Much love. Miss you.

  29. What a beautiful service for such a beautiful person. I am truly sorry for all of yours loss especially for her kids. Rest in Peace My Friend.

  30. B. G. Coughenour

    In 2007 my husband was part of an experimental cancer treatment at Billings
    Clinic. During that time we met a beautiful, compassionate nurse. Her
    name – Sunny Park. She was more than a nurse, she became our friend – so kind and caring. Sunny and her family made the trip from Billings to Powell to
    attend the rosary service for my husband the night before his funeral.
    It truly touched my heart then, and always will. I am truly sorry to all of you –
    her dear family and friends – for your loss.

  31. Such a special person with a heart of gold who touched the lives of so many. I’m proud to have been blessed to know Sunny as a friend and coworker. May her good spirit and memory live on forever in all whose lives she graced. Prayers and condolences to all the family and all friends. So sorry for the loss.

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