Gnomie, come home: Beloved wooden gnome goes AWOL from Marshdale yard

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By Deb Hurley Brobst

Gnomie, Gnomie, Wherefore art thou, Gnomie?

With some apologies to William Shakespeare, the classic line from “Romeo and Juliet” speaks directly to the situation.

Gnomie, the iconic wooden male gnome that has been sitting in front of a home just north of Marshdale on Highway 73, has gone missing.

Someone took the 4-foot-tall, 300-pound gnome from the front yard of Andre Yerkes’ home two weeks ago. The thieves did not take Gnomie’s female companion.

All Andre wants is to get Gnomie back — no questions asked. If Gnomie is injured, that’s OK. Andre will fix him.

There’s a huge makeshift sign in the Yerkes yard that simply says, “Please return my Gnomie," in duct tape.

Gnomie had been sitting on a stump, attached with screws, in front of the Yerkes home for more than five years, though for people driving up and down Highway 73, it seemed like he’s been there forever.

Gnomie and his wife, Maminka, were carved by Rich Krupicka, the well-known Conifer wood carver who lives farther south on Highway 73. Krupicka carves animals from logs. He’s well known for the Smokey Bear carvings he’s done for several area fire departments.

Gnomie was loved by Andre’s mom, Toni Yerkes. Toni loved gnomes and had more than 200 in all shapes and sizes in her house. Gnomie and Maminka were her most beloved gnomes; she waved goodbye when leaving the house and always greeted them on her return.

In May, Toni died unexpectedly, so Gnomie and Maminka have even more sentimental value to Andre.

Andre had planned to remove the gnomes to take them to his home in Denver right after the November election, but then Gnomie disappeared. For now, Maminka is safely inside the garage.

“I’m hoping it was just some kids pulling a prank, and they took the gnome to put in the middle of the Conifer High School football field or something like that,” Andre said. “Now I just hope they bring it back.
“It broke my heart when he was taken,” Andre said. “It brought tears to my eyes. Just when I was coming to grips with losing my mom, this opened up the wound. It’s my most sentimental connection with my mom.”

Andre hopes the culprits will recognize the sentimental value of Gnomie and will return him. He doesn’t want to press criminal charges; he just wants Gnomie back.

“I’m still smiling and keeping my fingers crossed that he will come back,” Andre said.

Anyone with information about Gnomie can call Andre Yerkes at 303-775-8978.

Contact Deb Hurley Brobst at deb@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1041.