Robert Charles Gerlach, 84

Published 10:02 am Thursday, April 14, 2016

Robert Charles Gerlach, 84, of Austin, Minnesota, died Tuesday, April 12, 2016, at Mayo Clinic Hospital-Rochester, Saint Marys Campus.

Robert Charles Gerlach, 84

Robert Charles Gerlach, 84

He was born June 16, 1931, in Austin, the son of Francis and Irene (Ponto) Gerlach. Robert was a 1949 graduate of St. Augustine Catholic Schools and served his country in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956. On June 6, 1953, Robert married Donna Johnson at St. Augustine Catholic Church. The couple raised five children. A lifelong Austin resident, he worked as a farmer for many years on the family’s century farm, and worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a mail carrier. Robert also drove bus for Austin Transportation (formerly Pike Transportation) for 30 years. A member of St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, he delivered Meals on Wheels and enjoyed traveling and RV camping. Robert once rebuilt an Allis Chambers tractor.

Survivors include his wife Donna Gerlach of Austin, Minnesota; children, Steve Gerlach of Mankato, Minnesota, Denise (Bill) Merriman of Kent, Ohio, Kent Gerlach, LeeAnn (Dave) Schafer and Janelle Lawrence, all of Austin, Minnesota; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; six brothers, Francis Jr. (Judy) Gerlach of Austin, Minnesota, Philip Gerlach of Bloomington, Minnesota, Carl (Kathy) Gerlach of Austin, Minnesota, John Gerlach of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Alan (Carolyn) Gerlach of Alexandria, Minnesota, Thomas (Joanne) Gerlach of Ramsey, Minnesota; two sisters, Rosemary (Ronald) Malicki of The Villages, Florida, and Margene (Walter) Culbert of Austin, Minnesota.

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Robert was preceded in death by his parents Francis and Irene Gerlach; his grandson Bradley Gerlach; his daughter-in-law Rita Gerlach; and his sister-in-law Mary Gerlach.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, April 18, 2016, at St. Augustine Catholic Church with Father James Steffes officiating. The Gerlach Family will greet friends at the church from 12:30 to 2 p.m., immediately preceding the service. Interment will be in Grandview Cemetery with military honors by American Legion Post 91 and VFW Post 1216. Memorials can be directed to Alzheimer’s Research or recipient of donor’s choice. Services prearranged and performed by Worlein Funeral Home of Austin. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at