Cover photo for William J. "Bill" Gerl, Sr.'s Obituary
William J. "Bill" Gerl, Sr. Profile Photo
1951 William 2024

William J. "Bill" Gerl, Sr.

February 15, 1951 — February 22, 2024


William J. “Bill” Gerl, Sr.

Age 73 of   Yorkville, IL, passed away at his home on Thursday, February 22, 2024, with his family by his side.

Born February 15, 1951 in Joliet, Bill was the son of Rudolph J. and Angelina M. (Née Capitino) Gerl. He was raised in the Joliet/ Crest Hill area.  Bill was a graduate of Chaney Grade School and Lockport West High School, class of 1969.

On May 12, 1973, Bill married Joan Vanisko in St. Ambrose Catholic Church.

Together they raised two sons in the Yorkville area. 

He was retired from Caterpillar Inc. of Aurora, IL after 40 years of dedicated service. 

Bill was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church, Yorkville.

He golfed and bowled with the Caterpillar League, and golfed with the Senior League at Blackberry Oaks and the Joliet Park District.  

Bill was an avid White Sox and Bears fan and also enjoyed playing euchre and cribbage.

In their free time, Bill and Joan traveled to Canada on two fishing trips, spent time fishing at Braidwood Recreation Club, visited Hawaii for their 35th in 2006 and recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their family and friends this past May.

Bill enjoyed fishing and watching his grandchildren’s sports activities.

Survivors include his loving and devoted spouse of 50 years; Joan (Née Vanisko) Gerl; his dedicated sons, William J. “BJ” (Lyneen) and Michael (Krista Lyn) Gerl; grandchildren, Kaden, Bryce, Brett, Lilly, Audrey and Liam Gerl; sister, Cathy (Steven) Reynolds; mother-in-law, Alice (late John) Vanisko and brother­-in law, Buzz (Judy) Vanisko; niece and nephew, Lisa (Michael) Brinkley and Brian (Kristy) Reynolds and numerous cousins.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Rudolph and Angie Gerl and his father-in-law, John Vanisko. 

A memorial visitation will be held on Monday, February 26, 2024 between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Blackburn-Giegerich-Sonntag Funeral Home, 1500 Black Road, Joliet, IL 60435.

Relatives and friends are invited to meet on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 at St. Patrick Catholic Parish, 406 Walnut Street, Yorkville, IL 60560, for a Mass of Christian burial at 10:00 a.m., Rev. Matt Lamoureux, officiating.

Bill will be laid to rest following a private committal service in Pavillion Cemetery, Yorkville, IL.

Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in Bill’s memory to: Oswego High School Athletic Department, Attention: Bill Gerl Golf Scholarship / 4250 IL-71 - Oswego, IL 60543 /

Relatives and friends are encouraged to sign the online guest book by logging onto:

Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the genuine care and direction of Kenneth A. Plese, in Joliet, IL   815-735-2125.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William J. "Bill" Gerl, Sr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Visitation

Monday, February 26, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Blackburn-Giegerich-Sonntag Funeral Home

1500 Black Rd, Joliet, IL 60435

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Patrick Catholic Church

406 Walnut Street, Yorkville, IL 60560

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Laid to Rest / Private

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Pavillion Cemetery

Yorkville, IL 60560

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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