TOLEDO -- Gerald W. Gilgenbach, age 86, of Toledo, Ohio, died December 7, 2012, at Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg.
He was born January 27, 1926, in Putnam County to Phillip and Agnes (Limpach) Gilgenbach, who pre-
ceded him in death. On June 26, 1954, he married Helen Bernice Koltz, who died on April 20, 2003.
Gerald is survived by a sister, Lucille Johnston, Holgate, Ohio.
He was preceded in death by two infant sons; three sisters, Cecelia Verhoff, Kathleen Schwader and Geraldine Steingass; and five brothers, Clarence, Chester, Robert, Milferd and Wilferd.
Gerald worked for the Jeep Corporation from March, 1948, until his retirement in 1982 as a supervisor in the Press Division. He was inducted into the U.S. Army on June 26, 1944, with the 69th Infantry Division. Gerald received an Honorable Discharge on June 22, 1946. Active in civic affairs, Gerald was a member of Saint Catherine of Siena Church, Military Order of the Cootie Pup Tent 44, American Legion 587 in New Bavaria, AMVETS, Catholic War Veterans 193, Past Commanders Club, Jeep Management Club, National Travel Club and Democratic Club. He was President of Ohio Council of Fraternal & Veterans Organizations in 1993-94, and awarded Ohio Fraternalism of the Year in 1996. Gerald was also a member of Moose Lodge 1579 in Sylvania and Redman Tribe 131 in Toledo.
Gerald started his VFW career at Post 8847 in New Bavaria, Ohio, where he served as Post Commander in 1970-71, and was a Charter and Life member. He served as Department Convention Chairman in 1965 and 1976; Department Chief of Staff, 1966-67; Chairman of the Time & Place Committee, 1967-68; Department Inspector, 1968-69; Membership Director, 1969-70; Chairman of the Welfare and Service Committee, 1975-76; and Finance Committee, 2000-03. He served on the National Community Activities Committee, 1973-76. He also served as District 1 Commander. 1965-66, Adjutant, 1975-77, Vice Chairman of the Big Ten Conference, 1973-74; Chairman of the Big Ten Conference, 1980-81; and National Deputy Chief of Staff, 1969-70. He served as National Council Member Area D Ohio from 1976-78.
Gerald was awarded the James Romanis Award from the Department of Ohio for his dedication to veterans in 2000. His proudest moment was serving the VFW Department of Ohio as Commander in 1972-73, when he received All American Commander from the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. In 2004, he received the Cootie of the Year Award from Grand of Ohio. Annually he visited the VFW National Home for Children in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, starting in 1959.
Gerald expresses his sincere "thank you" to a very special neighbor, Suzie Best, and close military friend, Dave Fackler. Suzie called him daily, brought him communion, made sure his meds were in order, and took care of laundry, lawn care and meals. Dave took him to numerous doctor appointments and VFW meetings (including those in "cornfield county"), and visited Gerald daily. Both these people went above and beyond to ensure Gerry was being taken care of and safe.
Family and friends will be received on Tuesday, from 2-8 p.m. at the Walker Funeral Home, 5155 W. Sylvania Ave, Toledo, where a Scripture Service will begin at 7 p.m., followed by The Veterans of Foreign Wars military memorial service. Prayers will begin at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday from the funeral home, followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. at Saint Catherine of Siena Catholic Church (4555 N. Haven Ave), Toledo, with Fr. Francis J. Speier officiating. Interment will follow at Ottawa Hills Memorial Park, 4210 W. Central Avenue.
Memorials may be made in Gerald's name to either the VFW Uplink Program that provides calling cards free to our service members or to the Ohio VFW Cancer Fund assisting Ohio families. Online condolences may be sent to the family at walkerfuneralhomes.com.