Dewitt Obits

Iola Gehlbach of Lincoln

Iola Gehlbach, 96, Lincoln, died at 10:14 a.m. Saturday (Jan. 5, 2013) at her home.

Frances Iola Gehlbach was born May 12, 1916, a daughter of Clemens “Clem” and Anna Fink Garton. As a child, she rode her horse around the neighborhood, collecting news for her father to put in his newspaper column, “East O’ Town.” After graduating from Lincoln Community High School and Lincoln College, she taught three years at Hatton School, which she had attended as a child. She was united in marriage to Albert E. Gehlbach on July 30, 1938. He preceded her in death in 2003.

She is survived by two sons, Gerald (Nancy) Gehlbach, Lincoln, and Donald (Ann) Gehlbach, Sarasota, Fla.; four grandchildren, Dr. Scott (Dr. Maria Belodubrovskaya) Gehlbach, Madison, Wis.; Dr. Brian (Dr. Krista Johnson) Gehlbach, Coralville, Iowa; Chad (Michele Dupre) Gehlbach, Chicago; and Jody (George) Agnacian, Bentonville, Ark.; five great-grandchildren, Emma, Jacob and Adrian Gehlbach; and Lily and Charlie Agnacian; and a sister, Lois (Julian) Schmidt, Mount Pulaski.

She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, two brothers and three sisters.

She was a member of St. John United Church of Christ, where she belonged to the Christian Seekers, Charity Guild and Pairs ’N Spares. She was a charter member of the Logan County Home Bureau (later Home Extension), and served as president of the Chester Unit.

Mrs. Gehlbach was a homemaker and avid supporter of her husband’s farming career. She was known as a wonderful hostess, whether entertaining her coffee group or greeting her husband’s colleagues during his service as president of the National Pork Producers Council. A lifelong learner with a curious mind, she loved to travel and had a wonderful memory for Logan County events and families. She enjoyed working in her garden, cooking, doing crafts, jigsaw puzzles and jumbles, and watching Illini basketball on TV.

Most of all, however, she was a beloved mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and great-grandmother, who cherished her family.

Services for Mrs. Gehlbach will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. John United Church of Christ in Lincoln, with the Rev. Richard Reinwald officiating. Burial will be at Union Cemetery, Lincoln. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the church and one hour before the service Saturday at the church. Memorials may be made to St. John United Church of Christ, 204 Seventh St., Lincoln.

Arrangements are being made by Fricke-Calvert-Schrader Funeral Home, Lincoln.