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Steven Charles Gerlach

Steven Charles Gerlach

GERLACH

Steven Charles Gerlach, 80, of Sparta, IL; born on December 11, 1942 in Belleville, IL the son of Amos John William and Ruth Marie (Stevenson) Gerlach; passed away on Friday, March 31, 2023 at Memorial Hospital in Belleville, IL.

He was a teacher and lifelong learner.  Steven taught many subjects, including Chemistry, Physics, History, Biology, and Social Studies. He enjoyed participating in historical reenactments and traveled all over the United States and Canada, including June Fort (the popular Rendezvous in Prairie Du Rocher) and the Milice Frog Talk in Ste. Genevieve, MO.  Performing under the names of Doc Loc and later Dr. Theophratus von Gerlach, Steven gave presentations on 18th Century medicine. As much as Steven loved to teach, he was always learning new things.  Steven was the longest member of the Sparta Public Library Board and an avid stamp collector.  He was also a lifelong member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Sparta.  Steven faithfully served the Church in many ways, including working at the food pantry.

Steven was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his loving wife – Judith (Smith) Gerlach of Sparta, IL whom he married on June 13, 1964 in Carbondale, IL; daughter – Catherine (Markus Keller) Gerlach of Chicago, IL; son – Steven Christopher (Aimee Zygmonski) Gerlach of Felton, CA; two grandchildren – Stella Ruth Gerlach and Louisa Luna Gerlach both of Felton, CA; and several other relatives and friends.

Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.heilschuessler.com.

Memorial contributions may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church in Sparta.

The Visitation will be held on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Sparta, IL from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.  Funeral services will begin at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Bonnie Wilkins officiating.  Interment will take place at Caledonia Cemetery in Sparta, IL.

Heil-Schuessler & Sinn Funeral Home in Sparta, IL is in charge of arrangements.

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  1. Timothy Culp says:

    Dear Judy,
    I am sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. I am so grateful to get notices from the Funeral Home to keep informed about good people from my past life in Sparta. He was a great man. You two had many years together and children that you raised well. I know it is hard for you, but both you and Steve are religious and spiritual people. God will help you through this grief. I know it will be hard for quite a long time, but you have a lot of friends and family. Know that I am one of them, and will be thinking and praying for you, my friend!!

  2. Kim Burmester Feazel says:

    I am deeply sorry for your loss and saddened by the passing of Mr. Gerlach. Your family is in my prayers during this time of grieving. He will be missed by many.

  3. Dave and Debbie Wiederhold says:

    Judy, we are so saddened by the news of Steve. He was such a kind and thoughtful person. He will be missed at our Malice events. You and family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  4. The Rawlins Family says:

    Tim, Venice, Tony, & I are so sorry for your loss. We loved talked with Steve at reenactment events, he had a lot of knowledge & was always happy to share. He is deeply missed.

  5. Tracey Johnson says:

    We’re so sorry for your loss. We knew Steve through re-enacting. His knowledge and humor brought so much to the Massiac Marines as a group and to each of us personally. He will be much missed.
    Bill and Tracey Johnson

  6. Angela Holloway Pietrowski says:

    “Stevie G” is how he was affectionately known by me and my fellow Physics classmates at Sparta High School. He was kind and caring to all who knew him and he will be missed. My prayers of peace and comfort are with you, Judy and family.

  7. Jerry Poenitske says:

    My sincerest of condolences to Judy, Chris and Cathy. I was a student of Steve’s and later became a friend. He was always kind and had a warm smile that seemed to encourage you after the conversation ended. I’d wager he knew more about 18th century medicine than most practitioners today do. RIP Steve, we will share a fire again someday!

  8. Patti Henderson says:

    Harry & I were so sorry to hear this. I first met Steve when he was a manager at Sunnycrest IGA in Urbana. He was in grad school & I was an undergrad working nights as a deli clerk. We called him Mr. Gerlock and loved how he treated us & our customers. Little did I know then that I’d spend years across the 3rd floor hall from him at SHS. Steve will be missed & always remembered. You are all in our prayers.

  9. Jeana Firestone says:

    Chris, I am so sorry to hear of your dads passing. Prayers for your entire family.

  10. Valerie Slaven says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. To say Mr. Gerlach, “G” as we called him, had a significant impact on my life would be an understatement. He is the single reason I went to college for and started my career in Chemistry. I can honestly say I would not be who I am today if I had had him as a teacher, role model, mentor and friend. He will be greatly missed. I feel so blessed to have known him.

  11. Lawrence York says:

    May he Rest In Peace ..Very nice man , Very smart man .. Had him for science class ..

  12. Stacey Gibson says:

    Judy, I am so sorry! You, Cathy and Chris have my condolences. Steve will be missed by many. ??

  13. Mike Marks says:

    So sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. My deepest condolences to Judy, Cathy and Chris. Steve touched so many lives through his teaching, participation in rendezvous, community activities and much more.

  14. Linda and Richard Florreich says:

    Judy, we are so very sorry to see this. Praying for comfort and peace for you, sending hugs!

  15. Kathleen Nadeau says:

    He was a kind spirit and a positive influence to all he touched
    May strength be your mantle Judy and know many love and support you

  16. Barb Heck says:

    Mr. Gerlach was one of my teachers at SHS back in the later 70’s. I enjoyed having him as a teacher. Sending my condolences.

  17. Beryle and Bob Ethington says:

    Steve will be greatly missed. Such a wealth of knowledge and compassion for others. Our prayers to Judy, Chris, Kathy and other friends and family.

  18. Russell Wyatt says:

    God Bless Steve you were a good friend. Judy always remember we are here for you, I pray god gives you strength in this your time of need.
    Russ and Mary Wyatt

  19. Denise Ebers says:

    Gary and I are so sorry to hear about Steve. Judy, you and your family have our deepest sympathy.

  20. Cindy Sickmeyer says:

    I was so sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. Such a kind, wonderful man. My condolences to you Judy.

  21. Linda K Ervin says:

    Judy -So sorry to hear of ur husbands passing.

  22. Larry and Linda Henderson says:

    Judy, Larry and I are so sorry to hear this. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  23. Barbara Macri says:

    Please accept my deepest sympathy.

  24. Perry Brooks says:

    Sorry for your loss, Prayers for you all, God Bless you all

  25. Larry McGuire says:

    I am saddened to hear of Steve’s passing. I’ve known him since we were in Cub Scouts together. He was a very good person. My most sincere condolences to his family.

  26. Barb and John Sahrhage says:

    Judy and family so sorry to hear about Steve we all will miss him.

  27. Claudia Kerens says:

    I am so sorry of hear of Steve’s passing. I admired his knowledge and desire to pass that knowledge on to his students. His many travels and forays into historical Rendezvous demonstrated his respect and love for history. Judy, prayers and condolences for you and yours.

27 Comments

  1. I am so sorry of hear of Steve’s passing. I admired his knowledge and desire to pass that knowledge on to his students. His many travels and forays into historical Rendezvous demonstrated his respect and love for history. Judy, prayers and condolences for you and yours.

    Reply
  2. Judy and family so sorry to hear about Steve we all will miss him.

    Reply
  3. I am saddened to hear of Steve’s passing. I’ve known him since we were in Cub Scouts together. He was a very good person. My most sincere condolences to his family.

    Reply
  4. Sorry for your loss, Prayers for you all, God Bless you all

    Reply
  5. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

    Reply
  6. Judy, Larry and I are so sorry to hear this. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
  7. Judy -So sorry to hear of ur husbands passing.

    Reply
  8. I was so sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. Such a kind, wonderful man. My condolences to you Judy.

    Reply
  9. Gary and I are so sorry to hear about Steve. Judy, you and your family have our deepest sympathy.

    Reply
  10. God Bless Steve you were a good friend. Judy always remember we are here for you, I pray god gives you strength in this your time of need.
    Russ and Mary Wyatt

    Reply
  11. Steve will be greatly missed. Such a wealth of knowledge and compassion for others. Our prayers to Judy, Chris, Kathy and other friends and family.

    Reply
  12. Mr. Gerlach was one of my teachers at SHS back in the later 70’s. I enjoyed having him as a teacher. Sending my condolences.

    Reply
  13. He was a kind spirit and a positive influence to all he touched
    May strength be your mantle Judy and know many love and support you

    Reply
  14. Judy, we are so very sorry to see this. Praying for comfort and peace for you, sending hugs!

    Reply
  15. So sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. My deepest condolences to Judy, Cathy and Chris. Steve touched so many lives through his teaching, participation in rendezvous, community activities and much more.

    Reply
  16. Judy, I am so sorry! You, Cathy and Chris have my condolences. Steve will be missed by many. ??

    Reply
  17. May he Rest In Peace ..Very nice man , Very smart man .. Had him for science class ..

    Reply
  18. I’m so sorry for your loss. To say Mr. Gerlach, “G” as we called him, had a significant impact on my life would be an understatement. He is the single reason I went to college for and started my career in Chemistry. I can honestly say I would not be who I am today if I had had him as a teacher, role model, mentor and friend. He will be greatly missed. I feel so blessed to have known him.

    Reply
  19. Chris, I am so sorry to hear of your dads passing. Prayers for your entire family.

    Reply
  20. Harry & I were so sorry to hear this. I first met Steve when he was a manager at Sunnycrest IGA in Urbana. He was in grad school & I was an undergrad working nights as a deli clerk. We called him Mr. Gerlock and loved how he treated us & our customers. Little did I know then that I’d spend years across the 3rd floor hall from him at SHS. Steve will be missed & always remembered. You are all in our prayers.

    Reply
  21. My sincerest of condolences to Judy, Chris and Cathy. I was a student of Steve’s and later became a friend. He was always kind and had a warm smile that seemed to encourage you after the conversation ended. I’d wager he knew more about 18th century medicine than most practitioners today do. RIP Steve, we will share a fire again someday!

    Reply
  22. “Stevie G” is how he was affectionately known by me and my fellow Physics classmates at Sparta High School. He was kind and caring to all who knew him and he will be missed. My prayers of peace and comfort are with you, Judy and family.

    Reply
  23. We’re so sorry for your loss. We knew Steve through re-enacting. His knowledge and humor brought so much to the Massiac Marines as a group and to each of us personally. He will be much missed.
    Bill and Tracey Johnson

    Reply
  24. Tim, Venice, Tony, & I are so sorry for your loss. We loved talked with Steve at reenactment events, he had a lot of knowledge & was always happy to share. He is deeply missed.

    Reply
  25. Judy, we are so saddened by the news of Steve. He was such a kind and thoughtful person. He will be missed at our Malice events. You and family are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
  26. I am deeply sorry for your loss and saddened by the passing of Mr. Gerlach. Your family is in my prayers during this time of grieving. He will be missed by many.

    Reply
  27. Dear Judy,
    I am sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. I am so grateful to get notices from the Funeral Home to keep informed about good people from my past life in Sparta. He was a great man. You two had many years together and children that you raised well. I know it is hard for you, but both you and Steve are religious and spiritual people. God will help you through this grief. I know it will be hard for quite a long time, but you have a lot of friends and family. Know that I am one of them, and will be thinking and praying for you, my friend!!

    Reply

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