Robert Gene Gerhardt, 82, of Sutter, Illinois, passed away on Sunday, March 26, 2023, at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Illinois.
Gene was born on December 12, 1940, in Quincy, Illinois, the son of Fred and Edith (Kropp) Gerhardt. He graduated from Warsaw High School in 1958, and was united in marriage to Lucille Gooding on January 14, 1961. She preceded him in death on December 20, 2018.
Gene was self-employed as a farmer for most of his life, and also worked for Quintron and the Hamilton and Warsaw school districts as a bus driver throughout the years. He also served on the Warsaw school board. Gene’s faith was evident throughout his life. He read his Bible daily, served as a youth leader for fifteen years in Sutter and Tioga, served as an Elder for years at Sutter Salem Bible Church, and spent every Christmas Eve reading the Nativity story to his family. Gene’s family meant everything to him, and he loved to attend his grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s sporting and musical events. Throughout their lives, Gene and Lucille fostered over one hundred children, mostly troubled teen boys. In his free time, Gene enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, and solving Sudoku puzzles.
Gene is survived by three sons: Rick (Teresa) Gerhardt of Sutter; Rueben Gerhardt of Sutter; and Roger (Abigail) Gerhardt of Macomb, Illinois; four daughters: Renee (Jeff) Connor of Tennessee, Illinois; Rachel Gerhardt of Hannibal, Missouri; Rebekka Sigmund of Warsaw; and Rita Gerhardt of Keokuk; three daughters-in-law: Kathy Gerhardt of Michigan; Gena Palmer of Wayland, MO; and Cheryl Gerhardt of Mendon: eighteen grandchildren: Jeremiah (Dusty) Gerhardt, Monette Gerhardt, Johnathan Gerhardt, Joezf Gerhardt, Alyssa (Joe) Craven, Aaron Gerhardt, Alayna (Kallin) Crile, Alicyn Gerhardt, Ricky Gerhardt, Addyson Gerhardt, Brayden Gerhardt, Ryan (Megan) Brotherton, Ashley (Jake) Jackson, Cole Connor, Eric Sigmund, Thea Sigmund, Jack Garrett and Brentlee Gerhardt; six great-grandchildren: Olivia Brotherton, Charlotte Brotherton, Haizel Jackson, Creed Jackson, James Robert Craven and Harrison Craven; his sister Sandy (Steve) Pieper of Quincy; his brother Wayne (Kathy) Gerhardt of Cambria, California; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Gene is preceded in death by his parents; his wife Lucille; two sons Randy and Robert Gerhardt; his foster son Scott Kelly; and four siblings: Pauline Jenkins, Willis Gerhardt, Gwendolyn Schmitt and Dorothy Scheuermann.
Gene’s life will be celebrated with a funeral service at 10 am on Thursday, March 30, 2023, at Printy Funeral Home in Warsaw, Illinois, with burial to follow at Bethany United Church of Christ Cemetery in Tioga, Illinois. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, March 29, from 2 to 7 pm, with family meeting friends from 4 to 7 pm at Printy Funeral Home in Warsaw.
Memorials may be directed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Printy Funeral Home of Warsaw is in charge of arrangements.