Gerald D. Kotas
June 17, 1944 – March 20, 2020
Gerald D. Kotas, 75, of Western passed away peacefully in Fairbury at JCHL Hospital on March 20, 2020. Gerald was born in Friend on June 17, 1944. He was the first child of Frank and Sylvia (Zoubek) Kotas. Gerald attended rural school district 58 and graduated from Western High School in 1962.
He was united in marriage to Lois Deke on July 10, 1965. They lived in Swanton the first two years of marriage and moved to Western the remainder of their married years.
He was a member of the Western Volunteer Fire Department, served as mayor of the village board, was a member of the Community Club and a member of St. John’s Church. Gerald and Lois were active in the community, serving as grand marshal in the Western parade in 2017. Gerald worked for Pribyl Motors, Western Motors and as a road grader operator for Saline County for 25 years.
He also enjoyed helping friends and neighbors as a carpenter, a mechanic and making fishing lures. There wasn’t a job Gerald couldn’t do or fix. He enjoyed going on many fishing trips and road trips with family and friends. In their earlier years, they went on many vacations with friends and spent time camping by lakes. His hobbies were restoring old cars, gardening and watching and feeding his birds and squirrels. He loved old airplanes and collecting world war memorabilia. Gerald made friends with everyone he met.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Lois; brother, Melvin and Barb Kotas; sister, Karen Hayek; sister-in-law, Carol Kotas; sisters-in-law, Eunice Mahloch, Connie and Dan Scherling; brother-in-law, Lovelle and Connie Deke; numerous nieces and nephews; and many other relatives and friends, as well as special families Lee and Sara Nickel and son Oliver and Craig and Stacy Lutjemeyer and daughters Lani and Alli.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Sylvia Kotas; in-laws, Gilbert and Leona Deke; sister-in-law, Judy Deke; brother, Roger Kotas; brothers-in-law, Myron Hayek and Richard Mahloch; and niece, Megan (Deke) Vales.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Condolences for the family may be left at www.kunclfh.com.