Cover photo for James A. Gerlach's Obituary
James A. Gerlach Profile Photo

James A. Gerlach

July 19, 1929 — February 5, 2022

James A. Gerlach

MORTON – James A. “Jim” Gerlach, 92, of Morton, passed away on Saturday, February 5, 2022, at his home.

He was born on July 19, 1929, to Albert and Erna (Bierman) Gerlach, in Steeleville, Ill. He married Roslyn J. Kahle on August 8, 1959, in Bloomington, Ill. She preceded him in death on January 18, 2013. Jim later married Ilona M. Meyer McDonough on June 19, 2015, in Morton.  She survives. 

Also surviving are two stepchildren, Janet (Mark) Gartman of Peculiar, Mo. and Matt (Mary) McDonough of Morton: four step-grandchildren; two step great-grandchildren; one sister, Carolyn (Jim) Bert of Steeleville, Ill.; and 14 nieces and nephews.

He was also preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Susan.

Jim served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was a life member of the Steelville American Legion. He received a B.S. in mathematics from Southern Illinois University. He also received a M.A. in educational administration from Bradley University and an M.A. in mathematics from Central Michigan University. He was a life member of the S.I.U. Alumni Association.

He taught mathematics at East Peoria Community High School for 29 years. After retirement he taught mathematics part-time for 7 years at Illinois Central College. He was a life member of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association. He was also a member and past president of the East Peoria Lions Club.

Jim was a member of Bethel Lutheran Church in Morton, where a funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 9, 2022, with Pastor Jeff Anderson officiating. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m., prior to the service at the church. Jim's service will also be live streamed via Burial will be in Lexington Cemetery in Lexington, Ill.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Bethel Lutheran Church or Greater Peoria Honor Flight.

Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton is handling arrangements.

To view Jim’s online video tribute or to leave a condolence for the family, visit

To send flowers to the family in memory of James A. Gerlach, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Wednesday, February 9, 2022

9:30 - 10:15am

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Starts at 10:30am

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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