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Gail A. Jellerichs

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McDonald Funeral Home

1002 12th Avenue
Rock Falls, IL 61071
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“Fair Winds and Following Seas Shipmate Rest in Peace! I enjoyed working with you on one of your many projects! ”
1 of 12 | Posted by: Mark A. Wolf

“Gail was a great guy and classmate to my wife Sandy Peterson Walrath. I remember lot of stories about Gail at RFHS. Rest in peace, my friend. ”
2 of 12 | Posted by: Dennis Walrath - Friend

“So sorry to hear of the passing of Gail. We grew up in the same neighborhood on 4th St. My deepest sympathy to you and your families. ”
3 of 12 | Posted by: Lana Nugent - Morrison, IL

“Sorry to hear about the recent loss of Gail. All of my condolences to Kathy and the entire family. ”
4 of 12 | Posted by: Katby (Rolofson) Hancock - IL

“Sorry to hear of your sudden loss. Condolenses to wife and family. ”
5 of 12 | Posted by: Kathy (Rolofson) Hancock - IL

“Kathy, Jennifer and Brad:I am so sorry to hear of Gail's passing. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers during this very tough time. My...Read More »
6 of 12 | Posted by: Debbie Dew - Danville, CA

“So sorry for your loss. You will be in my prayers. ”
7 of 12 | Posted by: Ed Andersen

“So sorry to hear of your loss. I will be praying for your family. ”
8 of 12 | Posted by: Joan Fritz - Spring Hill, FL

“My sincere condolences to the Jellerichs family. I have known the family for many years as we grew up only a couple of blocks apart as children. I...Read More »
9 of 12 | Posted by: Jim Arduini - Friend

“sorry for your loss. i always liked gail, down at the mill and later years ”
10 of 12 | Posted by: bob johnson

“So sorry to hear about Gail. I always enjoyed running in to him at Menard's or Grummert's. He will be missed. ”
11 of 12 | Posted by: Tracy Jones

“Kathy and family. I'm so sorry for your loss . I'm in florida for a month but will reach out to you when I get home. It's been over a year since I...Read More »
12 of 12 | Posted by: Yolanda Moreno - Sterling, IL

Gail A. Jellerichs, 72, of Rock Falls, died suddenly on Thursday, February 3, 2022, at CGH Medical Center in Sterling. Gail was born on February 18, 1949 in Sterling, the son of Elmer and Fern (Shontz) Jellerichs. He graduated from RFHS and Sauk Valley Community College. He enlisted in the United States Navy and was stationed in Hawaii. He married Kathy Wilson on March 28, 1970, in Sterling. Gail was employed at Northwestern Steel and Wire for 32 years where his final position was quality control chemist.

Survivors include his wife, Kathy, of Rock Falls; one daughter, Jennifer (Jessie Quimby) Jellerichs of Sterling; one son, Bradley Gail (Adrian Solis) Jellerichs, of Bellevue, WA; one sister, Lynn Jellerichs of Rock Falls; one grandson, Jaydon Jellerichs of Sterling; several brothers-in-law and BELOVED sisters-in-law; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Gail was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Melvin Jellerichs, and one sister, Cathy Jellerichs.

Cremation rites will be accorded. A gathering of all friends and family will be held from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM on Tuesday, February 8, 2022, at Harvest Time Bible Church in Rock Falls, coordinated by McDonald Funeral Home. Memorial service will follow At 12:00 PM officiated by Reverend Dalmus Meeks and Pastor Jason Borton. A small luncheon will follow in the church fellowship hall.

Gail was part of the Golden era of S-RF. As a baby boomer, he grew up as this area was building up and jobs were plentiful. His father was a respected local railroad-man, known for stubbornness. (Elmer and Gail once drove an RV from Canada to Rock Falls, wordlessly, due to an argument during a fishing trip). Gail admired his older brother Mel, a well-known man-about-town. Gail adored baby sister Cathy Sue, the family darling who succumbed to leukemia in 1968.

Gail's formative years were charmed. He graduated from RFHS in 1967, where he played football and was part of the finest class that ever walked the halls. He took a union job at 'the mill,' where he worked rotating shifts for 32 years, pausing only to enlist in the US Navy during the Vietnam War. He served tours in Japan, Singapore, and the Philippines. After completing his military duties, he returned home and was active in the Jaycees, a civic organization. He used the GI bill to good effect, earning three Associates degrees from Sauk Valley Community College. He briefly worked on his BA by commuting to NIU in Dekalb, but found it difficult to attend class due to the rotating shift work required by his employer.

Gail enjoyed being a husband and father. In classic 1980s style, he took his family on annual summer road trips, where his most blissful moments were driving the overnight shift while his wife and two children slept in the minivan. These annual trips took the Jellerichs family all over the map, including a scheduled meeting with Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office in 1988 (wife Kathy is Reagan's first cousin, twice removed). He coached his son's baseball team and attended his daughter's dance and piano recitals.

After retirement in 2001, he didn't slow down. Throughout his working years he always had a side business, either painting houses or doing roofs or managing apartment properties. In 2001 he formalized his side business into G&K Contracting and earned a community reputation for high quality workmanship in roofing, siding, and remodeling. In recent years he enjoyed flipping houses after fixing them up. He was proud to add to the supply of fixed-up affordable houses in the area. He and his son Bradley fund and administer the Mel Jellerichs memorial scholarship, an annual award to a top athlete at Sterling High School. In his spare time Gail enjoyed travel, red wine, and driving around pointing out roofs that need to be replaced.

Gail was a long-time treasured member of the community, whose sudden loss has greatly affected his loved ones. Anyone who knew Gail is welcome to attend the arrangements on Tuesday to celebrate his life.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to CGH Health Foundation.