Gerald “Jerry” Louis Koenig, 84, was born on June 26, 1937 in Collinsville, Illinois and died on Dec. 23, 2021. Between those dates he lived a wonderful and blessed life.
He and his future wife, Marj, both graduated from Concordia Teacher’s College, River Forest in 1960 with degrees in Education, and they married that Aug. 14. He later earned a master’s degree. After four years teaching at Immanuel Lutheran School in Des Plaines, he took a call to serve as a junior high teacher at Grace Lutheran in River Forest, where he served there for the next 36 years, as teacher and then principal, investing in students and shaping them with God’s guidance and grace. Over the years, at different times, he also led high school ministry, father/son canoe trips, many aspects related to building expansion, and other activities in the congregation. In 2015 he received a commendation for 55 years of ministry service by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
He loved the outdoors — camping, hunting, fishing and traveling — along with his beloved St. Louis Cardinals. He camped with his family around more than 30 states and visited many countries, chaperoning choirs and visiting international Christian schools. He enjoyed woodworking and gardening and a good game of cards. Mostly though he treasured God’s people — the students he taught and led, his many friends and colleagues, and the family he delighted in.
After Marj’s death in 2009, Jerry and LaNell were married on Aug. 21, 2010. They enjoyed many years of travel and time with family and friends. In his last years, he fought a valiant fight with Lewy-Body Dementia with Parkinsonism. LaNell’s care for Jerry during that time was an incredible blessing.
Jerry is survived by his wife, LaNell Mahler Koenig; his three children and nine grandchildren, Kendall (Connie) Koenig — Kaleb, Maddie & Leah; Kurt (Brenda) Koenig — Karl, Kevin & Kristian; and Karla (Bill) Koehne — Aiden, Ethan & Ryan; as well as three siblings, Don (Marcia) Koenig, Darlene Gutzwiller, and Ralph (Sue) Koenig. He also cherished LaNell’s children and grandchildren, Naomi Mahler (Todd Lynum) — Sofia & Grace; Rachel (Brett) Kraemer — Andrew & Julia; and Matthew (Loren) Mahler — Hannah. He was predeceased by his parents, Hilbert and Olinda Koenig; two siblings, Melbourne Koenig and Dolores Thayer; and his beloved wife, Marj (nee Will).
Visitation will be held at Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest on Friday, Jan 28 from 5 until 8 p.m. with a memorial service at Grace on Jan 29 at 10 a.m.
Memorial gifts can be given to Grace Lutheran School.