Thomas Wesley Gerlach Sr.

March 21, 1956February 7, 2012

Thomas Wesley Gerlach, Sr., 55, Seven Hills, Ohio passed away on February 7, 2012. Tom was born in 1956 in Jackson, Michigan to Bruce, Sr. and the late Lisbeth Gerlach. He studied Law Enforcement at Northwestern Michigan College. He married Jayne (Lundy) in 1978 and they lived in New Mexico and Michigan before moving to Ohio. Tom devoted his life to helping people, professionally as a police officer, sheriff’s deputy, firefighter and emergency medical technician and personally as a great friend and family member. It wasn’t uncommon for someone to come up to him at a store and say something like, Do you remember me? You saved my life or you saved my sister’s life or you were at my accident and you were so kind to me. Tom often spoke fondly of growing up on Miller Ave in Ann Arbor and all the wonderful neighbors that made it a real “Leave It to Beaver” community. As a father himself, he carried that feeling into helping coach soccer, leading Boy Scouts, being active in Mitchell Elementary School PTO, etc. He worked the midnight shift at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital for many years, thus allowing him to be the one his boys came home to after school. He loved cars and could identify the make and year of most cars at a glance. He owned 22 cars before he turned 22 and only slowed down when the fiscal responsibilities of a family required it. He saved friends and family countless dollars by giving advice or actually fixing cars. Maybe it is because of the hours spent working on cars and hours spent in public safety that his oldest son works in automotive research and his youngest is a police officer. You could always count on Tom’s humor and quick wit to lighten the mood. Tom loved to tease and his deep laugh was contagious. Those who loved Tom laughed often. He also had a strong love for animals. He said that without Jayne’s common sense the two of them might have become the dog and cat people you hear sometimes about on the news. Tom is survived by his wife, Jayne of Seven Hills, Ohio; sons, Thomas, Jr. (Christy) of Marysville, Ohio; Trevor (Brianna) of Muskegon, Michigan, brother, Bruce, Jr. (Beckie) of Clinton, Michigan and father, Bruce Sr. of Clinton, Michigan. He will also be missed by his nieces, nephews, extended family and numerous friends. The Celebration of his Life will be held Saturday, February 11, 2012 with visitation at 10:00 a.m. followed by the service at 11 a.m. at Charles J. Burden & Son Funeral Home, 1806 E. Michigan Avenue, Jackson, Michigan. Burial will follow at Woodland Cemetery. In honor of Tom, please find a way to “pay it forward” today.


  • Visitation Saturday, February 11, 2012
  • Funeral Service Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thomas Wesley Gerlach Sr.

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Diane Irwin

February 15, 2012

Bruce and Becky - so sorry for your loss. Been praying for you!! I will be happy to "Pay it forward"!

John Baker

February 15, 2012

My family and I will continue too keep all of your family in prayer

Mike and Karen Payne

February 14, 2012

You are in our thoughts and prayers.

February 13, 2012

From the Beaumont Family. May you find the will and strength to get through this difficult time. Our continued prayers are with the Gerlach Family. God Bless.

Jim Warye family

February 11, 2012

Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of sorrow.

Judy Baskin

February 11, 2012

Dear Jayne and family, Bruce Sr, Bruce Jr, Becky and Family,
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. I have so many good memories of Tom. Tom was a wonderful friend and brother. I will always cherish the great times we had being raised in the "Leave it To Beaver" neighborhood. We built some awesome forts with leftover wood in the yard, and built some great cities in the sandbox! We had a lot of fun! When I pass an old metal riding fire-engine, or police car at the antique shop I always think of how Tom would give me speeding tickets as we rode our bikes down Miller road. It was pretty clear from a very early age, that Tom would follow the career path he chose. We had a lot of fun and I will miss him greatly.

Please keep in touch and remember that we are always here for you. We hold all of you very close to our heart.

Love to All,
Judy, Mike, Nicole and Kyle Baskin

Laurie Dean

February 11, 2012

It felt like sweet days growing up with next door neighbors like the Gerlachs. It is easy to recall seeing Tom's mother Betty letting the white cat Puff out their back door on the leash and speaking so gently to Puff and everyone, Tom shooting hoops at the side of the garage or working on his vintage car, the big red gumball on the roof of another as he sped to a fire. Their family never seemed to mind as my friend and I explored their yard and porch. We had too much fun with the big truck tire inner tubes that Tom's dad gave us to go down the Huron River. And I never saw such a large frog as the one they brought over that hopped around our kitchen floor. Both Tom and his brother Bruce Jr. seemed to have the gift to repair things. I can see that Tom has built a strong loving family of his own and all the lives he has touched. He found love with Jayne. It doesn't seem fair that he should part from it. I hope that the strength of his love will comfort Jayne, T.J., Trevor, and all his family and loved ones thru these difficult days.

Rev. Carl Spain

February 11, 2012

Sure will be missed but not forgotten

Tim Andrews

February 11, 2012

Jayne, TJ & Trevor I'm saddened to hear of Tom's passing. I had just recieved his last Xmas letter and word he was ill. I'm now sorry I did not pick up the phone that day and call to talk to him. I miss the great years we had at Pittsfield Fire together.
I dont need to tell you he was a good man and a great person. He will be missed by many.
God Bless you Tom.

Donna H

February 11, 2012

Bruce & Family,

My thoughts and prayers are with you.