Dr. Edward John Hertko, 91, passed away at Taylor House on November 7, 2020. A private service will be held on Saturday November 21, 2020 at 11:00 AM. The family invites you to join them via livestream. The link can be found below Dr. Hertko’s obituary at Dr. Hertko’s cremated remains will be laid to rest at Chapel Hill on Merle Hay in Des Moines at a later time.

Born June 1, 1929 to Bertha (Hrivnak) and Martin Hertko. Dr. Hertko received his MD-University of Illinois Chicago, Internship-Cook County Hospital, Chicago and Internal Medicine Residency-Hines VA Hospital, Chicago. He served in the US Navy. He married Victoria Anne White Butler on May 10, 1980. This was a union of great love and joy to the very end. They shared an active membership at St. Mark Lutheran Church, travel, dancing, a love for live entertainment, gourmet dinners at ICI DMACC, and time with friends and family. Ed attributed his long life to joining the YMCA in 1960 and exercising 3-6 times per week for 60 years. He frequently stated that this was the best decision he ever made. Vicki would lovingly remind him she was the second-best decision!

Ed was a man of faith, passion and action. As he would tell all when asked about his interest in diabetes, he believed God called him to Iowa to care for those with the disease that his mother and many relatives experienced. When he moved to Iowa in 1960, few resources were available to those suffering with diabetes. In 1963, with the help of the Iowa Department of Public Health, Dr. Hertko started the first diabetes support groups in Iowa which, subsequently became the Iowa Diabetes Association in 1968. As an affiliated program of the Iowa Diabetes Association, Dr. Hertko created a camp for children with diabetes. The first four camp sessions were held at the 4-H Camp in Madrid, Iowa. It was temporarily called Elm Camp. The campers from the first session voted to officially name the camp "Camp Hertko Hollow" in honor of Dr. Hertko, founder of the camp. In 1972, Camp Hertko Hollow moved to the YMCA Camp in Boone, Iowa where it has been held ever since. In 2003 Camp Hertko Hollow separated from The American Diabetes Association and began operating as an independent nonprofit organization. In 1981, he and Iowa Methodist Medical Center opened the first outpatient education center (CIDEC) in Iowa. Ed was instrumental in getting an Iowa law passed to require insurance companies to offer outpatient education in policies. He will be forever remembered by thousands of children and adults with diabetes as their champion providing them with hope and the tools to live healthy productive lives.

Dr Hertko is remembered by many as a large man with a big voice that could be intimidating at first. Once you had the chance to know him you found the voice came with a big heart. He grew up poor in Chicago and Joliet, Illinois. He never forgot what it was like to be poor and he and his wife Vicki have generously supported many organizations that improve the life of individuals and support the quality of life of our community. He was a man of great faith who worked to live the life of love and care to which he was called by his Christian faith. He took great pride in being a bible scholar and loved to teach Bible studies. He was active in many professional and civic organizations. His earthly accolades are too numerous to mention.

Dr. Hertko is survived by his wife, Vicki; his sons, Robert and Bradley (Caroline) Hertko; grandson, Craig Edward Hertko, his sister-in-law, Oma Hertko; brothers-in-law, Christopher White (Kim) and Dave Huth; many loving nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Thomas; daughter, Patricia; brother, Martin; and in-laws, Chuck and Barbara White and Shirle Huth.

In lieu of flowers, Dr. Hertko and his family request donations be made to Camp Hertko Hollow or St. Mark Lutheran Church in West Des Moines. Condolences to the family may be expressed online at

Livestream link to the service: link text

Service Details

VISITATION HAS BEEN CANCELLED by the Hertko family due to COVID circumstances. Please leave condolences here on the website or join the livestreamed service on Saturday.
Saturday, November 21, 2020
11:00 am
Private Service
The family invites you to join via the livestream below.
Burial of Cremated Remains
Chapel Hill Cemetery
Des Moines, Iowa
Hamilton's on Westown Parkway
3601 Westown Parkway
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
(515) 224-0078

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