Betty A. Gerfen

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Betty Ann Gerfen, nee Giess, 89, of Freeburg, IL, born July 23, 1929, in Belleville, IL, passed away Wednesday, January 23, 2019, at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, O’Fallon, IL.

Mrs. Gerfen was a homemaker, working alongside her husband on the family farm, Maple Grove Farm, of Freeburg, IL.  She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Millstadt, IL.  Betty was one of the founders of the Citizen’s Tax Federation and a founding board member of the Freeburg Area Library.  She was a member of the Silver Creek Garden Club, the St. Clair County Farm Bureau, the Freeburg Historical Society, and was a charter member of the Freeburg Community High School FFA Alumni. Betty was very politically and civic-minded with a special emphasis on supporting children, families, agriculture, and education.

Betty was preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, Neal S. Gerfen whom she married on August 5, 1950 and who died on October 27, 1999; her parents, Elmer H. and Dorothea Ida, nee Schiermeier, Giess; one child in infancy; one son, Raymond Gerfen; one son-in-law, David Mudd; and one brother, John E. Giess.

Surviving are eight children, Annette (Wil) Hoffarth of Freeburg, IL, Lyn Mudd of Swansea, IL, Eric (Tina) Gerfen of Freeburg, IL, Nancy Gerfen of Rockwood, IL, Cheryl Gerfen-Linder (John Linder) of Fayetteville, IL, Virgil Gerfen of Freeburg, IL, David (Dionne) Gerfen of Freeburg, IL, and Sara (Mike) Steppig of Freeburg, IL;
24 grandchildren, Tammy Hoffarth, Leonard Hoffarth, Laith Hoffarth, Kathryn Hoffarth, Joseph (Sara) Mudd, Scott Mudd, Kimberly (Ed) Scheibel, Bethany (Steve) Raetz, Aaron (Jen) Gerfen, Dr. Jessica Gerfen, Christian Gerfen (Brie Smith), Chelsie Mueller, Justin Mueller, Cailee Mueller, Javie (Kaylee) Mueller, Jacob Gerfen (Megan Mitchell), Jessica (Joey) Habay, Bree Gerfen, Elijah (Lia) Gerfen, Ian Gerfen, Jonah Gerfen, Grace Gerfen, Augustus Steppig, and Lucille Steppig;
31 great-grandchildren;
one great-great-grandchild;
two sisters, Joan C. Vahle of Waterloo, IL, and Ruth M. Giess of Freeburg, IL;
one brother-in-law, Henry John (Jean) Gerfen of Yuma, AZ;
and nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation: Friends may visit from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, January 27, 2019 and from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday, January 28, 2019, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Freeburg, IL.

Funeral:  Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, January 28, 2019, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Freeburg, IL, with Rev. Peter Ill officiating.

Burial will be at Valhalla Gardens of Memory, Belleville, IL


5 Comments on Betty A. Gerfen

Frank X Heiligenstein said : Guest Report Jan 29, 2019 at 10:16 PM

This is one woman that has made an impact on our region. she was always in the forefront of important issues.. All of us will miss her forever.

  • Freeburg
  • IL
Glenn schaefer said : Guest Report Jan 27, 2019 at 10:28 PM

A great lady who raised a great family and was very supportive of FCHS.

  • Millstadt
  • IL
mary haubrich said : Guest Report Jan 27, 2019 at 2:11 PM

very sorry for your loss you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • new athens
  • IL
Mark Forcade said : Guest Report Jan 25, 2019 at 3:03 PM

To the Gerfen Family, I am very sorry to hear about Betty Ann's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Please accept our sympathy. Mark & Kim Forcade

  • Smithton
  • IL
Katie Morales said : Guest Report Jan 25, 2019 at 2:52 AM

Dear Gerfen family, I am truly sorry to hear of your loss. I will always remember Mrs. Gerfen as the calm voice of reason whose advice was greatly valued by her children and others. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Katie (Thomas) Morales

  • Wylie
  • TX

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