Lawrence Gervais
1947 - 2013
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Lawrence F. Gervais, age 66; beloved husband of Susan Gervais; loving father of Vince (Christine) and Brooke (Kevin) Bahnline; cherished grandfather of Kiera, Mike, Josh, Ryann, Ava, Julian, and Simon; dear brother of Joseph (Lydia), James (Carol), Matthew, Raymond, Rosemarie, Thomas, Gregory (Pam), Mark, and the late Alan Gervais; preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Dorothy Gervais; fond uncle of many nieces and nephews. Lawrence was a proud Vietnam Army Veteran who served his country honorably. Memorial Visitation Wednesday 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Adams-Winterfield & Sullivan Funeral Home, 4343 Main St. (1 blk. S. of Ogden) Downers Grove. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Disabled American Veterans appreciated. 630-968-1000 or

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Published in Chicago Tribune on Oct. 20, 2013.
Memories & Condolences
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53 entries
October 15, 2019
May this candle continue to shine brightly for you Larry........
Patricia Gervais
October 13, 2016
Patricia Gervais
September 16, 2015
Sorry to hear of Larry's passing. I always enjoy his company in all of the classes we had together at LTHS. He will truly be missed by all.
Linda Kolaczewski
September 15, 2015
Thought of you today.....
Patricia Gervais
September 7, 2014
I am saddened to learn of Larry's passing. I was one of his students, at LTHS, in the 70's. He was a wonderful teacher. Not long ago, I became re-acquainted with some friends from high school. Larry and Susan are two teachers that we thought about looking up and visiting. I am sorry that we will not have that opportunity.
Ann Katona
November 1, 2013
I have very fond memories of Larry sitting next to me in band freshman year. He was the sweetest guy and also had encouraging words and warm smiles everyday. I'm sure He will be missed by his family and all the classmates who's lives He touched.
My condolences,
Georgia Drury Kerin
October 30, 2013
To the Gervais family I wish to extend my deepest sympathy during these difficult times. While I was closer to Mark and Tom, I would see Larry at various wrestling events and we would speak of the good old East Leyden days and what he was doing. The family can be proud, not only of his time in service, but to the efforts and hours he gave in teaching and coaching his students and athletes. They were not short changed as he always did his best. I am thankful I knew him and truly regret his passing.
Coach Jack Leese
East Leyden.
Jack Leese
October 26, 2013
The VietNam Veteran comunity has a very strong bond especially so with the group that served in Alpha Company of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry. I received a call just a few days prior to Larry's passing and was shocked to hear that another of our "Brothers" was about to depart his earthly life.

Larry was a Sergeant of Infantry in the 4th Platoon while I was the 2nd Platoon Leader. Our interaction was infrequent at best but I remember him as a proud and courageous warrior.

His passing leaves a hole in the Gervais family as well as his extended warrior family.

My condolences to his wife, children, siblings and grand children.

As we say in the 7th Cavalry - GarryOwen and we will meet again in Fiddlers Green!

Bob Anderson
Phantom Raider 2/6
October 26, 2013
Larry was a classmate at East Leyden, often sitting right in front of me(alphabetical), turning around to add a positive comment to my day. So glad to hear his life was full of loving family and friends.My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Donna Harrison Steward
October 25, 2013
Larry was a very dear friend to all of us at East Leyden, class of 1965. I will remember Larry as a fun loving and kind friend in high school. My deepest sympathy to his family.
Pamela Larsen Johnson
October 25, 2013
So sorry to hear of Larry's passing. You guys were great neighbors when I lived in Downers Grove. Sandy Steele
October 25, 2013
My prayers go out to the Gervais family. Larry was the embodiment of the idea that it takes a village to raise a child. I am so grateful that he was a part of our family's village. It was an honor to know him. Rest in peace, Larry.
Paula Wills
October 25, 2013
My prayers to the Gervais family. As a fellow graduate of East Leyden Class of 1965, I have such fond memories of the wonderful friendships of those days. May you rest in peace, Larry.
Cheryl Wolniak Lenart
October 24, 2013
RIP buddy,you were a good friend in HS
Fred Caponigro
class of 65
October 24, 2013
Deepest Sympathy to Larry's family. I remember him very well from East Leyden High School. He was funny, and friendly and a good athlete. I am very sorry to hear of his passing. R.I.P. Larry, Nanci Gochis Makaris.
Nanci Makaris
October 24, 2013
Larry and I served together in South Viet Nam in 1970. He was a proud, courageous, and dedicated Infantry soldier. At times when the physical and emotional burdens of combat became almost too much to bear, Larry's wit and humor would keep us going. Steadfastly loyal to his comrades, Larry was also kind to the South Viet Namese civilians we encountered. Simply stated, he was a wonderful human being who loved others. In the many years since Viet Nam, I've grown to know and love Larry as the good, kind, principled, and caring man and devoted, loving friend that he was. My wife, Bev, and I will miss him deeply for the rest of our lives. Garry Owen, old friend. See you in Fiddler's Green.
Michael Brennan
October 24, 2013
Sad to hear about Mr. Gervais. He was a great teacher. I still have the papers and report cards with his always encouraging comments to keep going. I respect him greatly as a teacher but even as a soldier that served our country. My condolences to family and friends.
Tracy Chatton
October 24, 2013
Rest in Peace Larry. You have done so well on earth that I'm sure you will be great in heaven also! Linda Machul
October 24, 2013
Our condolences to the Gervais Family. RIP Classmate!
East Leyden Class of 1965
October 24, 2013
I am sorry to hear that we have lost such a great man. Larry provided many fond memories for me from wrestling to sign painting and beyond. Having the chance to meet his family and some of his brothers was an honor. My memories of Larry encompass a range of laughter/sense of humor, hard work, and his tremendous creative talent. I regret that I did not take the time to tell him how important knowing him was to me. He will be dearly missed. My condolences to his family.
Patrick Chapman
October 23, 2013
I remember fondly the many times I had Larry come into my classroom to speak to students about his experiences in Vietnam. His stories and ability to field the students' questions greatly enhanced their understanding of the literature we were reading. Soon he was being asked to speak in many social studies classes and was always willing to do so. He was greatly loved by students and staff alike and will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to the many loved ones he has left behind. Barb Sullivan
October 23, 2013
I will always remember Coach Gervais with a smile and appreciate how his jokes lightened the mood before an LT wrestling match!

My condolences to his family. He was one of a kind.
Kevin Keeley
October 23, 2013
Dear Gervais Family my heart is breaking for each of you. I am happy that I got to know Larry better in the last several years. I know that the love shared between Rose and her brothers goes very deep. I hope the love you share will help you through this terrible loss. Love you all. Linda Smith
Linda Smith
October 23, 2013
To the Gervais family, I extend my condolences. We all grew up together and losing Larry is like losing one of my brothers. Larry was always so funny and sweet. He was also a great artist. Love you all Barb
October 22, 2013
My deepest sympathy to everyone...Larry was a wonderful man and will be missed. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Bonnie Tworek
October 22, 2013
I volunteered with Larry at the Carousel Shop. What a wonderful, funny and loving man. He always talked of his family and brought joy to all of us who volunteered and shopped with us.
Lu Fulgenzi
October 22, 2013
I worked with Larry at Jefferson. He always had a smile on his face and I will remember his daily jokes in art class. I am saddened by the news of his death. He will be greatly missed. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Sandy Slough
October 22, 2013
It was an honor to carry the torch that he passed down as he inspired me and others to teach and coach the Jefferson Jr. High Wrestling Team. So much joy, knowledge and success was shared because of Mr. Gervais' willingness to give so much of himself to every one around him. I felt so proud to have been able to share, teach, coach and tell many of the fantastic teachings that he left all of us to others. To this day I continue to hear of the success of the young gentlemen growing in the Woodridge Community that have been blessed to receive and embrace the challenge of wrestling that was planted by Mr. Gervais.
Thank you.
You will be missed.
Isaac Wills
October 21, 2013
He was a wonderful man and I loved having classes with him,just great memories. One of the best teachers I ever had. Condolences to the family and students whose lives he touched!!
Courtney Konicki
October 21, 2013
Larry lifted spirits everywhere he went. His positive energy will be missed by all.
Lynn Gros
October 21, 2013
I am saddenned to hear of Mr. Gervais passing. My fondest memories at Jefferson were spent in his classroom. Most notably when I wore a dress to school he exclaimed, "Whoa! Roder's a girl! And she's got legs!" That exclamation still makes the tomboy in me grin when I put a dress on today.
That's the thing, more than a decade later, I'm still laughing and smiling because of Mr. Gervais. He will always hold a special place in my heart for his kindness and support during some difficult times. We are all truly blessed to have known him.
Becky Roder
October 21, 2013
18 years ago I started coaching wrestling with Larry at Jefferson Jr. High, and 2 years later I found myself coaching with him again at Downers South. I feel very lucky to have had this opportunity because it helped change my life and who I am today. During our time together, I learned the value of a positive coaching style. Whether in the wrestling room or on the edge of a wrestling mat, I still try to carry that positive coaching style with me, and do my best to instill it in the coaches I work with. My experiences with Larry taught me how rewarding it can be to have a positive effect on someones life, and it encouraged me to continue my education and to pursue a carrier in teaching. Larry truly helped me to find a path in life and to this day I am still coaching wrestling and teaching. I can't thank you enough Coach Gervais. You will be greatly missed.
Dan Bullivant
October 21, 2013
He was one of my favorite teachers, I am so sorry to hear of his passing! May he rest in peace.
Amy Atkins-Pilafas
October 21, 2013
I remember Mr Gervais and how he walked the halls of Jefferson making sure we were behaving. He will be missed but he has left something in all the students and people he touched. RIP
Kristina Foltz
October 21, 2013
I can not possibly express the admiration, gratitude, pride and love that those of us who served in Vietnam with Larry share. Larry was our rock and our superstar at all times! Even at the bleakest of times, when all seemed lost you could count on Larry to either grin so hard that everyone else could not help but cheer up, or to play a practical joke that would make any situation seem not so bad. Larry was like a huge light that always shined brightly to show the way. Although we have lost Larry we can never lose his spirit which he gave to each of us like a torch to be carried and passed on forever. Gary Owen my Phantom Raider Brother. I salute you and miss You.
Brian Blackney
October 21, 2013
Larry was a true friend. He and I wrestled against each other in High School, and then coached opposite one another as junior high school coaches. He was a competitor, but also a wonderful man. His relationships with his students were always positive and he touched a lot of troubled students through his coaching. Spending time with Larry was special and will always be remembered. He was a mentor, coach and teacher who dedicated his life to children. He will be missed tremendously. Sympathies to the Gervais' Family.
Joe Pedersen
October 21, 2013
It's been a long time since Larry and I taught together at Jefferson Jr. HS in Woodridge. Larry was a great guy, and I loved the time we shared there. Students loved him, too. A good person, great sense of humor, fun to be around. I still have his hand-written recipe for his taffy apple salad ! He talked about and was proud of his kids, Vince and Brooke.

After I left Jefferson, one day I was reading a book about Vietnam vets' stories, and to my surprise, there he was ! I gave him a call.

My condolences to his family.
Nancy Cunov
October 21, 2013
October 20, 2013
Dear all Gervais family, Larry was a man of such conviction to family and friends. Great mentor and teacher. Our family was blessed to know him and be a part of the whole wonderful Gervais Family. My heart aches for each and everyone of you. Love, Margie Hemmingway Vasquez
Margie Hemmingway-Vasquez
October 20, 2013
Larry was one of the coolest. and funniest guys I have known. Me and my entire family will miss him. Glad he was part of my life.
October 20, 2013
We're so sorry to hear of your loss. You'll be in our thoughts and prayers.
Pat & Lincoln Read
October 20, 2013
When we were little, our big families lived next to each other and played together all the time. We kept in touch as we grew up. This is such sad news and my heart goes out to all my Gervais buddies. Our families always celebrated together but now will grieve together.
Barbara Hemmingway Houghton
October 20, 2013
Rubbi Vujatov
October 20, 2013
It was a privilege to know Larry, I will always remember him for his intelligence and wit and for the sacrifice he made for this country as a Vietnam Veteran. My most sincere condolences to the Gervais family. - Jim S.
October 20, 2013
Dear Gervais Family,

I have always admired Larry's calm and optimistic approach to life. The sharing of his faith with his friends enriched our community. I learned a lot from our conversations and will miss his fellowship. My thoughts and prayers are with the Gervais family. Thank you so much for sharing your husband, father, brother, grandfather and uncle. May Gods Grace continue to strengthen your hearts and bless your family.
Charlie Jurkovic
October 20, 2013
Eighteen years since junior high and I still think about his top of the line,top shelf primo,joke of the day. Great memories.
Michael Parrish
October 20, 2013
Our hearts are heavy knowing Larry has left us in body. His positive spirit, faithful friendship, sense of humor and integrity will forever stay in our memories. I am proud to have served with Larry in Viet Nam & will miss him. Ed & Annette Wilhusen - St. Charles, IL
October 19, 2013
Larry was a good man. We laughed together many times during our art teacher years at LT. One day after school after about a half hour of mutual lunacy, he jumped up, grabbed his face and, with his thumb in his mouth as he pulled his mouth open toward his ear, he started yelling and drooling. His face had cramped from all the laughing.
He was very upset, and so was I - until our eyes met. We began laughing uncontrollably again. By then, I was rolling on the floor, and he ran out of the room and down the hall. About ten minutes later, he returned; we behaved sanely, almost. By the way, we were sober in spite of how this story seems.

Very few people know about how serious the surgery was that I underwent in 1976. I was diagnosed with cancer in an early stage with a growth/obstruction in my right ureter about an inch from my kidney. I had to approve the removal of my kidney which the surgeons felt would probably be necessary. I had the surgery about three days after the tests, diagnosis and second opinion. At that time at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke Hospital in Chicago, there were problems with the safety of the blood supply. I was told that I would probably need at least one blood transfusion. It was suggested that I find someone with the correct blood type who could "bank" it to me. (I have no idea if that is even done today.)
Larry was the only one at LT who drove there within such short notice and gave blood.
I was fortunate with the surgery; I did not lose a kidney. At times the foot long scar from about two inches below my belly button to my right side along my beltline itches. When I scratch it, I think of Larry.
The sheer absurdity of an itchy foot-long scar that makes me think of Larry is something that could send both of us into laughter again.
His wonderful wife and family are very fortunate to have had Larry in their lives. Larry was a good man.
Ken Previti
October 19, 2013
To the Gervais family, my sincere condolences extended to all of you.Your family and my family go back a long, long way, and our heartfelt love and sympathy are sent to each of you. You will be in my prayers. Love you all so much.
Pami Schillaci
October 19, 2013
Larry was a man of character who often spoke about how much he loved his wife and his family , and how proud he was to have served his country in the military and his community as a coach . He was always there to offer encouragement and assistance , and share his experience to benefit others . A big loss for me , and for all his friends and brothers. BPD
October 19, 2013
I will honor Larry forever for his dear friendship, wonderful humor, and most of all, for his service to our country. He mentored many teachers and students at Jefferson Jr High in Woodridge. We are better people for having known Larry! XO
Jill Marten
October 19, 2013
My daughter kellys' teacher. Very caring. Larry will be missed.
Thank you Larry for all your help.
Morna Stewart
Kelly Dean
October 20, 2013
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
The Staff of Adams-Winterfield & Sullivan
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