Dr. Eldon L. Gerig Jan. 20, 1928 - June 24, 2014 SOUTH BEND - Eldon Lavern Gerig, M.D.,86, of South Bend, IN, died peacefully June 24, 2014 due to complications of Parkinson's Disease at his home with his family at his side. Eldon was born, the ninth of twelve children, on January 20,1928 in Wayland, Iowa to Martin C. and Emma (Nofziger) Gerig. On August 8, 1954 he married Luella Joan Albrecht, his wife of nearly 60 years, who survives along with their three children, Winston (Sibyl Graber) Gerig, Kevin (Beth Good) Gerig, and Nita Gerig (Tim Johnson). He is also survived by 11 grandchildren, 2 great- grand-children and two siblings, Minnie Chaffee of Ohio and Elmer Gerig of Oregon. Eldon grew up on the family farm and left home to attend high school, Hesston Academy in Kansas. In order to fund all his education costs, he followed the wheat harvest for many summers. He graduated from Goshen College in 1951. He subsequently attended medical school at the University of Iowa School of Medicine, receiving his medical degree in 1955. After one year internship at Marion County Hospital in Indianapolis, IN he and Luella spent two years doing alternative service work at a mission hospital in Aibonito, Puerto Rico. They returned to Indianapolis and Eldon completed a surgery residency. In 1962, the family moved to Mishawaka, IN where he established his practice in general surgery, which became Gerig Surgical Associates. Dr. Gerig was a gentle and caring man who treasured the craft of surgery, and was loved by his patients and staff because of his respectful and compassionate care for all. Eldon held many leadership positions including medical staff president at Saint Joseph Community Hospital (Mishawaka, IN), board chairman of Hope Recuse Mission Board, board chairman of Southfield Village, and elder at Kern Road Mennonite Church. His diverse interests included gardening, landscaping, and woodworking. Eldon had a special passion for raising orchids and was a long time member of the Michiana Orchid Society. His greatest joy came from being with his family, and his largest smiles were around his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Eldon was a long time member of Kern Road Mennonite Church, where viewing and visitation with family will take place on, June 27 and June 28, 2014 from 5 to 8 pm each evening . A private burial service with take place at Yellow Creek Mennonite Church Cemetery. The public memorial service will be at Kern Road Mennonite Church, 18211 Kern Road , South Bend on June 29,2014 at 4 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Eldon can be made to Hope Ministries or Mennonite Central Committee Relief Agency. Online condolences may be sent through www.palmerfuneralhomes.com. Palmer Funeral Homes has helped family with arrangements.
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Published in South Bend Tribune on June 27, 2014