Geraldine “Gerry” Swartz, 99, of McLeansboro


Geraldine “Gerry” Swartz, of McLeansboro, IL passed away on Monday, March 18, 2024 at Hamilton Memorial Hospital in McLeansboro.

Gerry was born February 23, 1925 in Saline County, IL to George Brown & Cleo (Sexton) Brown. On January 22, 1949 she married Steve Swartz, who preceded her in death on March 12, 2012. She attended the First General Baptist Church in McLeansboro.

In her younger years, Gerry worked at the old Gholson’s Hatchery in McLeansboro. She then started, right out of high school, as a secretary for the John Stelle ice-making business. After that, she worked for many years as the Office Manager of the McLeansboro Times Leader newspaper. At the St. Clement’s of Rome Catholic Church in McLeansboro, Gerry always helped out cooking and serving for Wurstmarkt. She enjoyed hobbies such as sewing and cooking big meals at her home on the farm, where she was known to serve family, friends, neighbors and other farmers. Her famous apple pie recipe remains a family favorite. Her most treasured “job” was taking care of her family, and she was known to many as “Grandma Gerry.”

Gerry is survived by her son Roger Swartz (and wife Debra) of McLeansboro; her daughter Karen Swartz of McLeansboro; 3 grandchildren: Stephanie Lemke (and husband Josh) of Dahlgren, Staci Haile (and husband Joshua) of Belle Rive, and Sherri Millenbine (and husband Tim) of McLeansboro; 11 great grandchildren: Nathaniel (and wife Bailey) Lemke, Gabrielle “Gabby” Lemke, Daniel Lemke, Abigail “A.J.” Lemke, Joel Lemke, Michelle Lemke, Natalie Lemke, Matthew Haile, Taylor Millenbine, Tristen Millenbine, and Tessa Millenbine. Several nieces, nephews, and cousins also survive.

She was preceded in death by her parents George & Cleo Brown, her husband Steve Swartz, her son-in-law Patrick Tharp, her sister Pauline Flynn, and an infant brother.

A Celebration of Life Service for Geraldine “Gerry” (Brown) Swartz will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 5, 2024 at Freedom Missionary Baptist Church in McLeansboro with Pastor Jason Moore officiating. A visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service at 11:00 a.m. Friday, April 5, 2024 at the church. Interment of ashes will follow the service at St. Clement of Rome Catholic Cemetery in McLeansboro.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hungry Hearts, and will be accepted at the church, or at Gholson Funeral Home in McLeansboro which is assisting the family with arrangements