In Memory of




Obituary for Donald "Don" Gerlach

Donald Gerlach, 84, died unexpectedly at his residence on April 22nd, 2020.

Donald is survived by his wife, Shirley (Dinges) Gerlach; his children, Karen (Kim) Baiers, Donna (Mark) Hill, Kurt (Christine) Gerlach; his siblings, Dale (Bonnie) Gerlach, Ruth Smith; his granchildren, Grant (Andrea) Baiers, Chase (Julie) Baiers, Rebecca Baiers, Emily Baiers, Mark (Kala) Hill, Nicole (Josh) Buyce, Kiel Gerlach, Zachary Gerlach, Jordan Gerlach, Grace Gerlach, Brooke Gerlach, Paige Gerlach, Brock Gerlach; and his great-grandchildren, Landon & Henry Baiers, Grayson & Cooper Baiers, Nolan Hill, Collin & Claire Buyce. He is preceded in death by his parents, Martin and Frieda (Froehlich) Gerlach, and his son, David Gerlach.

Donald was born in St. Joseph, MI on January 22nd, 1936. He graduated from Berrien Springs High School in 1954. On May 24th, 1958 he married Shirley Dinges. After high school he proudly served in the US Army stationed in South Korea until 1957. In 2018 he returned to South Korea with a group of Korean veterans who were honored for their service.

Donald farmed all of his life on the family farm where he grew up. He also worked for Clark Equipment in Buchanan for 17 years and retired from Gast Manufacturing. He was an active member of Grace Lutheran Church in St. Joseph MI where served as usher and sang in the choir group for many years. He loved being outdoors in the fresh air and enjoyed farming, hunting and fishing.

Donald was a very passionate individual in all areas of his life including family, hobbies such as woodworking and wine making, and politics. He enjoyed talking with people and never rushed a conversation.
A private service and burial with family will be held on April 27th. There will be a gathering with family and friends at a later date to be determined. Those wishing to sign Donald’s Memory Book online may do so at

Memorial contributions: Grace Lutheran Church or Michigan Lutheran Athletic Dept.