Lillian J Gerlach

December 31st, 1929 to July 14th, 2020

Lillian Julia Gerlach, 90, of Port Huron, passed away on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 with her two sons and daughter, whom she lived with, by her side.

Lillian was born on December 31, 1929 and was raised in Port Huron, MI. Born as Lillian Julia Schieman (1 of 7 children), she was primarily raised by her grandparents who immigrated from Danzig, Germany. Lillian graduated from Port Huron High School in 1947. Shortly after meeting Gustav F. Gerlach III, the love of her life, they married on April 25, 1952 and together raised five children.

Lillian worked at Michigan National Bank for many years until her retirement. She wanted to focus her time with her grandchildren and traveling the country with her husband. Lill and Gus traveled extensively around the U.S. meeting with family from California, especially Gus’ sister, Joy Parks. Traveling to Disney World with her grandchildren was among her favorite memories.

Like ‘June Cleaver’ in the kitchen, breakfast was always on the table, a pastry or roast in the oven, and during the holidays a lavish spread fit for royalty was lovingly placed on the dining room table. She baked everything from scratch, and each dish was created carefully with love. Every family member received a special cake for their birthday, and each grandchild for their baptism, first communion, confirmation, graduation or any other special event. Her specialty was creating themed cakes, cupcakes, pies and a special batch of chocolate chip cookies. Her kitchen was always open.

Lillian deeply loved her children, grandchildren and had a special fondness for her eight great grandchildren. She was a caring and compassionate woman of faith, she loved to laugh and had a wit about her that kept you on your toes. She loved Christmas, the Detroit Tigers, scratch-off tickets and a glass of wine, whether it was on Chip's patio, in Gary’s kitchen, or Sharon’s tiki bar.

She is survived by four of her children, son, “Chip” Gustav F. (Diane) Gerlach IV, daughter, Sharon (Gary) Gerlach Bates, son-in-law, Roy Caughel, daughter, Mary (Jack) Quandt and son, Gary Frederick (Hayley) Gerlach; grandchildren, Gustav Franz (Dr. Yvonne) Gerlach V, Rheannon Gerlach, Carly (Brian) Bates House, Abbey (Jeff) Bates Ahee , Emilee Caughel, Joseph (Nicole) Caughel, Tristin (Francis) Fagan, Jordan Quandt, Dr. Gary F. Gerlach II, Leah (Phil) Denman and Sarah Gerlach; great grandchildren, Zofia and Veronica Gerlach, Quinn House, Jeffrey Ahee, Scarlett Stone, Sophia Gerlach, Porter and Larry Denman; and her very dear friend, Bonnie Snowden. She was preceded in death by her husband, Gustav Franz Gerlach III (Papa) and daughter, Kathleen Ann Caughel. Thank you to her doctor of 40+ years, Dr. Alexander Ruthven.

Mom, Nana, Great-Nana - you are sorely missed, and we love you dearly. We treasure every memory we have and celebrate your life every day. We know Papa greeted you with open arms, whistling a special tune, holding you, his Lilli-belle, while leading you in a special heavenly dance to “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” by Bing Crosby.

Lord Love Ya Lill (as Dad would say).

A Memorial Mass will be held on August 7, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. in St. Mary Catholic Church, Port Huron. The Reverend Zbigniew Zomerfeld will officiate. All are welcome to attend following COVID-19 guidelines.

Inurnment will be in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Port Huron.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Preschool of Port Huron or McLaren Hospice of Port Huron.

Arrangements are by Karrer-Simpson Funeral Home. To send condolences, visit


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