Jacqueline M. Gerlach

Jacqueline M. (Jackie) Gerlach, 88, of Benton Harbor passed away at her home, with family by her side, on Sunday, June 2, 2019.

She was born to the late Bert and Gladys Hoffman on Jan. 28, 1931, in Benton Harbor. Always reaching out to check on family and friends, Jackie lived each day with the sole purpose of loving her family and showing kindness to others. She was extremely proud of her children and grandchildren and loved to share her pictures and stories of them with all who visited. Jackie’s greatest love was when her family was together.

Jackie was preceded in death by her husband, Paul E. Gerlach, whom she married on April 5, 1953, in Chicago. Jackie worked hard as a waitress for many years, working nights so that she could be at home during the day while their three daughters were young. Once their daughters were grown, Jackie and Paul managed the VFW 1137 Post for 10 years before semi-retiring to provide child care for three of their four grandchildren.

Jackie is survived by her daughters, Susan Borrelli of Benton Harbor, Patti Gerlach of Benton Harbor and Lori (Pat) Marciniak of Stevensville; sister, Marilyn Whitaker of Stevensville; grandchildren: Amanda Borrelli of St. Joseph, Kane Marciniak of Grand Rapids, Hannah Marciniak of Grand Rapids and Amelia Marciniak of Stevensville; stepgranddaughter, Jenni Swartz of Kentland, Ind.; sister-in-law, Shirley Hoffman; and many nieces and nephews.

Besides her parents, Jackie was preceded in death by her twin brother, Gene; brothers, Richard, Jimmy, Donald, Harold and John; sisters, Nancy and Patti; son-in-law, Charles Borrelli; and stepgranddaughter, Catherine Borrelli.

Friends may visit with the family from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, June 6, with a joyful life celebration from 6-6:30 p.m., at Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph. A private burial with the family will take place at a later date in Hickory Bluff Cemetery, Stevensville. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Caring Circle. Friends wishing to send the family an online condolence may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.