- November 23, 2022
Jeffrey Anthony Gerlits, of Cedar Rapids, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the age of 61. Born Sept. 5, 1961, The son of Lawrence and T. Jean (Niner) Gerlits, Jeff was the 11th of 12 children. He attended Solon Schools and then later moved to Colorado. Jeff loved Colorado and spent many happy years there running his own cleaning business and selling antiques before returning to the Solon area in 2010. He painted furniture and sold antiques at local farmers markets through his beloved store front and online business, Gooselake Creations. An energetic, eclectic artist, Jeff spread joy through color and laughter. He was a friendly face in his neighborhood, frequently giving what little he had to help others, he “just loved to see people smile.” Jeff loved painting and plants, but mostly people. He was a person of passion and tenacity, never letting an economic slump, a derecho, or any other deterrent keep him from what he loved most.
Jeff was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Jean; four brothers and two sisters-in-law, George, Dale (Bonnie), Jim, and Larry (MaryAnn). He is survived by his sister, Susan Gerlits of Missouri; brothers, Mike (Jenny) Gerlits, also of Missouri, Robert Gerlits of Washington, D.C., Pat (Gabby) Gerlits of Colorado, Francis (Daisy) Gerlits of Florida, Tim (Lisa) Gerlits of Hiawatha and Vincent (Sue) Gerlits of Morse; sisters-in-law Fay (Larry) Gerlits of Florida, Wanda (Jim) Gerlits of Texas and Linda (George) Gerlits of Iowa City, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and great-nieces and -nephews. He will be missed by all who knew him and forever loved. Jeff and his family are being cared for by Caldwell Parish Funeral Home in Urbandale. A service in his honor will be announced at a later date.