EAST PEORIA - Gerald Ray Haedicke, 85, of East Peoria, Ill., passed away and was placed safely in the arms of Jesus at 5:15 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, at the Lutheran Home in Peoria, Ill. He fought a courageous battle with multiple medical issues over the last two years.
He was born at home on Oct. 11, 1927, to Arthur and Theresa (Koopman) Haedicke. He married Hildegard Schaidle on Sept. 12, 1953, at St. Mary of Lourdes Catholic Church in Metamora, and she survives.
Also surviving to cherish his memory are his children, Mike Haedicke, Larry (Rita) Haedicke and Bonnie (Ed) Estes, all of East Peoria; his grandsons, Austin Haedicke of Carrollton, Ga., and Travis Haedicke of East Peoria; three step-grandchildren; six step-great-grandchildren; one sister, Alice (Earl) Johnston; and two sisters-in-law, Jean and Nancy Haedicke, all of East Peoria.
Gerald was preceded in death by one son, Pat Haedicke; brothers, Adolph, Leroy and Arthur "Bud" Haedicke; and one sister, Thelma Durst.
Gerald was a Korean War veteran who proudly served his country in the rank of sergeant, receiving two Overseas Bars, Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars and United Nations Service and Soldier Medals.
He retired from Caterpillar Inc. in 1982, where he worked for over 30 years at the proving grounds. He also worked for Spring Bay Township and was a lifetime member of Spring Bay American Legion Post 1115 and East Peoria VFW 2078.
Gerald was of the Lutheran faith. He enjoyed farming, camping and visiting with family and friends.
Visitation for Gerald will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, at Mason Funeral Home Germantown Hills Chapel, with graveside services to follow at 1:30 p.m. at Haedicke Family Cemetery in East Peoria, with the Rev. Gary Salm officiating. Military rites will be accorded by Spring Bay American Legion Post 1115.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Haedicke Family Cemetery.
Online condolences may be left at www.masonfuneralhomes.com.