Deacon Richard F. Gerdeman Dies April 4
April 18, 2024
ROCKFORD—Deacon Richard F. Gerdeman, Jr., died April 4, 2024, here. He was 81 years old.
Deacon Gerdeman was born in Lima, Ohio, on July 11, 1942, the son of Richard F. and Rosemary (Schimpf) Gerdeman. 
He married Sharon (Colgrove) Gerdeman on January 30, 1965, in Winamac, Ind. 
After serving his country in the U.S. Navy, he embarked on a career path that touched the lives of many. 
In 1966, he made Rockford his home to work at Twin Disc. Later, he went on to establish Rich Gerdeman Wood Finishing, where he built a business legacy until 1984. 
He was ordained a deacon for the Diocese of Rockford by Bishop Thomas G. Doran in 1996. 
It was his role as a  chaplain at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center for 18 years that showcased his selflessness and unwavering commitment to helping others. 
Deacon Gerdeman also had a wide range of hobbies, including fishing, square dancing, golfing and landscaping. 
Yearly visits to Florida gve him the opportunity to relax and soak in the sunshine.
Deacon Gerdeman is survived by his wife, Sharon; his children, Kelly J. (Kenneth) Witt, and Richard F. (Katya) Gerdeman III; grandchildren, Skyler and Patrick Gerdeman; sisters, Nancy, Kathy, Betty, and Wendy. 
He was predeceased by his parents; daughter, Kristin Marie;   brother,   David Gerdeman and stepmother, Florence Bozeman. 
Visitation was held Friday, April 12, 2024, from 9 a.m. until the time of the funeral Mass at 11 a.m. at St. Bernadette Parish, 2400 Bell Ave., Rockford. 
Burial was Calvary Catholic Cemetery with military honors to conclude. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Richard’s name to St. Jude’s Children Hospital. 
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