Mr. Gerald H. “Gerry” White passed away with his family at his side Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, at Loyola Medical Center as a result of injuries sustained in a motor scooter accident in Bradley, Ill.
Gerry was born on Aug. 14, 1929, in Morris, Ill., the son of Harry and Emma (Gunderson) White. He married Janis R. Southcombe of Morris on Sept. 16, 1950, and they grew a family of four children: Steve, Kathy, Kerry and Kim.
He farmed south of Morris for many years, while raising their family. He sang in a barbershop chorus, and also sang over the year with his beautiful tenor voice for many celebrations – weddings, funerals, and church services.
They moved to the Gardner, Ill., area and farmed there until 1979, when he left the farm and purchased a men’s clothing store, Gerald’s Mens Wear,” in Dwight, Ill. In the early 1980s, they moved to Earlville, Ill., where he worked as a loan office for Production Credit Association.
Gerry and Jan moved to Ottawa, Ill., in 1984, where he was self-employed doing general remodeling for many years. In 1993, they moved back to Morris, where he was an apartment supervisor and manager. He also worked at the U.C. Davis and Sons Funeral Home for many years as a greeter.
They worshipped and worked with new friends and old until moving to Bourbonnais, Ill., in 2006. Gerry thoroughly enjoyed woodworking. His children and grandchildren own many of his loving creations, furniture items and special boxes.
Gerry dearly loved all of his children, his 10 grandchildren, and seven (soon to be 10) great-grandchildren. One of his passions was keeping up with all of them on Facebook, and quickly printing and framing or posting their pictures in their home.
He also enjoyed their many friends in Bourbonnais, their McDonald’s coffee group, their church family, and Saturday morning breakfasts with any family members who could come.
Gerry is survived by his wife of almost 63 years, Janis; his three daughters, Kathy (Richard) Fosen of Bourbonnais, Ill., Kerry (William) Brannan of Ames, Iowa, and Kim (Wayne) Czyz of Ottawa, Ill.; 10 grandchildren, Kathy (Nick) Hitch, John White, Mike White, Rebecca (Tony) Macha, Elizabeth Fosen, Abigail (Eric) Johnson, Katie (Eli) Suddarth, Jackie (Phil)Young, Kristin (Andy) Zell, and Ryan Czyz; and great-grandchildren Chloe, Tanner, Hailey, Jameson, Jackson, Annabelle, and Sydney.
He also leaves behind his brother, Richard (Beverly) White; brother-in-law Charles (Babe) Southcombe; and sister-in-law Dodie (Donald) Pfeifer.
He was preceded in death by an infant sister, Goldie Mae; his parents, Harry and Emma White; his brothers, Walter, Harold, and twin brother, Gene; his daughter-in-law, Janet; and his son, Steve.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13, at the U.C. Davis-Callahan Funeral Home in Morris. A Celebration of Gerry’s life will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14, at the funeral home. Officiating will be Pastor Scott Henley, Pastor Mike Southcombe, and Pastor Eli Suddarth. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery.
Preferred memorials should be made in Gerry’s name to the Asbury Methodist Church, 196 S Harrison Street, Kankakee, Ill., 60901.
Condolences may be made online by visiting www.ucdaviscallahan.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted with the U.C. Davis-Callahan Funeral Home, 301 W. Washington St., Morris. For further information, contact the funeral home at (815) 942-0084.