Jacqueline, 76, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and loved ones on Monday May 20, 2019.
Jacquie was born on April 21, 1943 in San Bernardino, California. After her father returned from WWII, they relocated to Wisconsin. She was baptized in Fennimore. She attended Fennimore Elementary School and graduated from Lancaster High School in Lancaster Wisconsin (1961). Jacquie went on to graduate as a nurse from the Methodist School of Nursing in Madison (1964). She worked as an RN in service to others for over 20 years. She later worked as an administrative assistant at Century 21 in Hudson WI and Wausau Insurance Company in Rice Lake and Eau Claire, WI. In 2002, Jacquie moved to Sheboygan. She loved giving back to her community and children and served as a lunch gramma at the Longfellow Elementary School in Sheboygan, WI.
She met the love of her life, Larry Wayne Gerbitz… and it was truly love at first sight. After only 6 weeks of courtship she accepted his proposal and they were married on November 6, 1965 at the Methodist Church in Lancaster, Wisconsin. Together, they raised two sons Michael and David in Oregon and Hudson, Wisconsin.
True to her character and strength, Jacquie juggled being a mother and wife and, while working full time; supporting her husband’s calling to be ordained as a Lutheran pastor. She and Larry served and experienced the warmth and love of congregations and communities in Rice Lake and Strum, Wisconsin until his untimely death in April 2000.
Her greatest joy and dedication in life was her love of family. In 1989, she whole heartedly embraced and loved a daughter when Michael married Leslie. Together, Michael and Leslie gave her three grandchildren who were the absolute light of her life. In case you missed that last sentence… they were the absolute light of her life. She adored her granddaughter Logan, and her grandsons Benjamin and Joseph and she prioritized their experiences and care above all else. She was a major influence in their life.
In 2018, her family grew by one. She added another beloved son, when David married Joshua. She absolutely treasured her times with them both, from her NYC adventures to quiet moments in the country, to being celebrity amongst their friends.
She was rooted in her Christian faith and supported her church and her congregation. When she moved to Sheboygan, she found a home at St. Peter Lutheran Church.
Jacquie was known to others for her zest, and her boundless energy and love for life. She brought light to others; radiating ever-present kindness, curiosity and encouragement. She was pure joy in her laughter and there was comfort in her wisdom. And while there was a softness in her spirit, she had an incredible inner strength; a conviction of her beliefs and advocacy for others.
She is survived by her son, Michael Gerbitz and his wife Leslie; and three grandchildren Logan, Benjamin and Joseph; her son David Gerbitz and his husband Joshua Smith; her dear friend of 64 years, Judy Wilkins and her husband Al and their family; her beloved cousins, other family members and friends.
Jacquie is preceded in death by her husband Rev. Larry Gerbitz and her parents Avon and Wilma French.
A visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at St. Peter Lutheran Church, 2104 Geele Ave., Sheboygan, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and will continue Thursday, May 23, 2019 at church from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 10:00 a.m. Pastor Kristin Berglund will be officiating. Interment will take place at Prairie Mound Cemetery in Oregon, WI at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Peter Lutheran Church or www.waterforpeople.org. Condolences may be expressed online at www.reinboldfh.com.
David, Josh & Family,
We're very sorry for your loss. We know what a close and special relationship Jacquie and David had.
You are in our thoughts.
Chris & Ingalis
Our condolences and prayers are with you. We acknowledge the loss of your grandma as a reminder to cherish the moments spent with those who surround us.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. Hopefully having your parents together again will bring you all a little peace and comfort.
I am sad to here of Jacquelines passing. I got to know her only during the time that she purchased my house at 1903 N23rd. She always was very kind and had a loving smile. May God be with you all. Ric Kind
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
Sometimes as a child you do not always understand your parents' friendships, but it was clear even to me as a boy that Jacquie (and Larry) had a special love for life and God's people. Years may pass and families change and grow, but the light and mirth she showered our lives with was evident across the decades. With fond memories and deep sympathies I am proud to have known them both. We trust in the Promise and move along with love. I wish the family so much peace. God bless.
My deepest sympathy to the family.
I went to water aerobics with Jacquie. I will miss her and our little talks on Tuesday and Thursday's before class. She was a lovely person.
My father Gene Simerson and my husband John Dougherty and I extend our heart felt condolences on the passing of Jacquie. We are cousins to her late husband Larry Gerbitz.
So sorry for your loss. I know from all the Christmas letters I've received over the years what an important part of your life Jacquie has been. I have many fond memories of our times together as nursing students at Methodist Hospital. Will remember her gracious ways always.
My deepest sympathies to the Gerbitz family, Pastor Larry and Jacquie meant a great deal to me and my family. I was just a lad when they came to Strum to serve in our community but I will gratefully remember them always. I will tell you a was a bit of a shiceter in those days and my folks looked to Pastor Larry at times to talk me through some of the tougher times, he always seemed to say just the right things to get through to me. I took his passing hard, as did everyone, but have always remembered his lessons. I graduated in the spring of 2002 and sent an invite to Jacquie, not knowing if she would be able to make the trip but definitely wanting her to know she was invited. She did make it, and told me no force on Earth could have kept her away. I was 18 before graduation and had gotten my first tattoo on my shoulder earlier in the year. It was of a cross I had drawn, with Larry's date of birth and his passing below and a simple passage above which read, "And it was good". A simple but powerful message Larry expressed to me often. We shared a quick tear and she hugged me and whispered thank you, you don't know how much this all means to me. I replied to her, it was me who owed them the thanks. Jacquie and Larry touched many lives and the world is a better place because they were part of it, I loved them both dearly and will miss them both greatly. I am so very sorry for your lost, but happy I had the chance to know them, because "It surely was good indeed!
Your mom Jacquie was an awesome, friendly & smiling customer at Z Spot. I always enjoyed our brief conversations at the drive-thru window. Jacquie loved our whole wheat scones & I know she loved her two sons who she was proud of. I will miss her. Jeff Zenk.
My deepest sympathy to all family members. Jacquie and I attended elementary school in Fennimore and were delighted when we discovered we were attending the same nursing school. We remained friends for years. Soon after graduation 4 of us from nursing school took a trip to Florida and soon after that I was a bridesmaid in her wedding. Jacquie was always better at staying in touch than I was but our Christmas cards and class reunions kept us aware of what was going on in our lives. Her loss of Larry was so tragic but her family kept her engaged and vibrant. So sorry for your loss but know what a wonderful influence she had on all of you and vice versa.
I am so sorry to hear about Jacquie's passing and just want to offer my condolences to Michael and David and their families. I have know Jacquie since we were in nursing school together and always enjoyed seeing her at our reunions. She was so proud of her family and always took the opportunity to talk about how proud she was of all of you. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
Our deepest sympathy to the Gerbitz family. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all. Stan and Judy Rhodes.
So sorry hearing of her passing. Such a delightful woman....so caring....always smiling....special thoughts also to her son....prayers with you.
Jacquie will be greatly missed . She was a wonderful friend and an active member at St. Peter and my Water aerobics buddy. I will miss seeing her every week and discussing our grandchildren together, our travel plans, and our various charitable activities. My deepest condolences go out to Mike, Leslie and the kids. Jacquie loved them to the moon and back. She will be so missed by so many.
She was such a friendly, smiley & warm hearted woman. Loved seeing and talking to her every 5-6 weeks at Mustard Seed for her appointments. She will truly be missed!
My love and prayers are with your family. David, I assumed that I would be the first parent of your extended family to pass so it is with great surprise that I am still here and your dear mother is not. As you grieve, you must remember that death is not the end. It is just a blip in phone service. Love you so much.
Steve & Lela
So sorry for your loss. I consider myself lucky to have spent time with Jacquie on several occasions. She radiated specialness.