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James G. Gehler, 79, of Springfield, formerly of Ottawa, died Nov. 1, 2013, in St. John’s Hospital, Springfield.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Trinity Lutheran Church, Ottawa, with the Rev. Greg Busboom and the Rev. Ladd Sonnenberg of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Springfield officiating.
Burial will be at Oakwood Memorial Park.
Visitation will be one hour prior to services Wednesday in the church. Mueller Funeral Home, Ottawa, is in charge of arrangements.
Jim was born July 14, 1934, in Watertown, Wis., to Gilbert and Leata (Menz) Gehler. He married Barbara (Thorson) Freise on April 6, 1963, in St. John’s Lutheran Church, Mendota.
At the time of his passing, he was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Springfield. Jim was a graduate of Mendota High School. He served in the U.S. Army 1957-59 as a guided missile maintenance technician in the Los Angeles area. In 1963, Jim graduated from the University of Idaho with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering. He was a 38-year employee of Illinois Department of Transportation, a member of Transportation Research Board, chairman of pavement maintenance and 2005 Man of the Year for Illinois Asphalt Paving Association.
Jim was always active in his community, serving as a past president of Toastmasters (Ottawa), vice president of West Point Parent Club of Illinois, chairman of the Starved Rock district of the W.D. Boyce Council of Boy Scouts of America and past church council president of Trinity Lutheran Church in Ottawa.
He is survived by his wife; one son, Kent (Edie) Freise; one daughter-in-law, Sandra Gehler; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; two brothers, Kenneth Paisley and Stanley (Sandee) Gehler; one brother-in-law, Milt Austin; a sister-in-law, Frieda Gehler; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Randal; a sister, Betty Austin; and a brother, William Gehler.
Memorials may be directed to St. John’s Lutheran Church of Springfield’s memorial or endowments funds or St. John’s Hospice at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.