Roger William “Bill“ Gerle, beloved father, husband, and friend to many, born in North Platte, Nebraska, on September 26, 1942, passed away on March 28, 2023, in his home in Kearney, Missouri. Bill was the only child of Gladys (Rogers) and Rudolph Gerle.
Bill attended North Platte High School, graduating in 1959. At 16, he joined the Air Force National Guard and, later, the Army Guard, where he learned to repair radios. Working at the local TV station in North Platte solidified his love of electronics and ham radio.
Bill was a volunteer firefighter for a decade in North Platte, NE, where he also participated in underwater search and rescue for drowned victims.
His hobbies included scuba diving, and he held many offices in Aqua Sharks, a scuba diving club in North Platte, NE. He enjoyed square dancing for many years with the Ramblers square dancing club. He has been actively involved in several ham radio clubs. Bill was also an avid genealogy researcher.
Bill loved the Boy Scouts of America, was a scout as a youth, and served as a Scout Master as an adult.
He was first married to DeLene Derra in 1961, and they had two boys. Joseph “Rick“ Gerle, and Mikel “Mike“ Gerle. They divorced in 1967, and Bill raised the two boys on his own for two years.
In 1969 Bill met the love of his life, Patsy (Wiser), married, and had a daughter, Candra.
The family of five joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) in 1977 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, which has been the foundation of strength and meaning for the entire family. Bill was enthusiastically involved in the Church, serving in many roles until his death.
In 1991 after the passing of his parents, nephew Jean Marc Wiser also joined Bill’s family, which is how Bill and Patsy became “Mom and Dad” to him.
He retired from Union Pacific Railroad in 2000 after 32 years of service. He was a Master Electrician and manager of facilities. The railroad transferred the family several times, allowing them the opportunity to live in North Platte, NE, Cheyenne, WY, Pocatello, ID, and Kansas City, MO, where they made many friends along the way.
After retirement, Bill and Patsy served a mission for LDS Church in Gallatin, MO, before moving to Kearney, MO, where they built their own home by hand and have lived there ever since.
In Kearney, Bill was active in ham radio education and storm spotting.
Bill Gerle was preceded in death by his parents, Gladys and Rudolph Gerle, and his son, Josef “Rick“ Gerle.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Patricia “Patsy“ Gerle; son and son-in-law, Mikel “Mike“ Gerle and Dennis Gleason; daughter and son-in-law, Candra and Steve Grider; son and fiancé, Jean Marc Wiser and Cathy Jo Hebert; grandchildren, Trish Caraway, Danielle Ferguson, Ryan Grider, Seth Wiser, Jakob Wiser, Caden Wiser, and Alex Grider; great grandchildren, Jacob Caraway, Jathan Caraway, Jace Caraway, Libby Ferguson, Treyce Ferguson, and several cousins.
Funeral Services for Bill will be held on Friday, March 31, 2023 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 202 W. 19th St., Kearney, MO 64060. Visitation will be from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m., followed by Funeral at 11:00 a.m.
Arrangements in care of Fry-Bross & Spidle Funeral Home, Kearney.
Our Sincere Condolences
Debbie and I are so sorry to learn of Bill. We know that with your faith in the gospel will bring you peace and the feeling of love, We love you.
Tony & Debbie
My heart is broken. My friend of 35 years. The hours we spent striving to improve the lives of young men and young women both in out outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And again, just 7 years ago we served together as Church Service Missionaries at the Employment Resource Center in Independence Missouri. And less than a year ago, we celebrated his birthday with friends, family, co-workers, radio operators. I will miss his counsel and his gentle voice saying” Now, Now Bishop Bob”. To Patsy and the family our deepest sympathies and our great love for all. My life is richer having known Bill and Patsy. Our prayers of Peace And Comfort be poured out upon you.
Robert W. Boehner
To Bill’s family,
Our sincere condolences! Bill, known to us as Brother Gerle, was mainstay for our volunteer labor in the Kansas City Temple to the end!! What cheer and friendship he provided to all. His obituary tells so much about this wonderful soul. (Thank you). A life well lived. He shall be missed!!!!!!!
Michael and Viola Walter
My mother was a good friend of Bill and Patsy so I’ve known the family all my life. I have great memories of Bill, going camping, telling me stories about my grandfathers who he worked with on the railroad. Bill was a kind gentle man. Quick with a smile and a pat on the back. I thought his Birkenstocks were legendary. I know an unfillable space is left. I’m sure his strength and wisdom imparted to his family will surely help them in the coming months and years. I hope for peace and understanding for the family.
I was so sad to hear of Bill’s passing. We are sending out prayers for comfort for you and your family. Bob and LouAnn Singer
Ken and I are in shock!!! We love both of you very much.
Your Friend & Sister,
Patsy and entire family, you are in my prayers and I’m sending love and hugs! Thank you for sharing Bill with my family when we needed friends. Patsy, you and Bill made us feel truly welcome and not a ward project. I can not tell you what your sincerity meant to us! May the Lord comfort you at this time!
Sister Gerle, We are so sorry to hear of your loss with the passing of your dear husband! Our hearts go out to you with our deepest love! Brother Gerle was always so kind to us before we ever knew you as his other half. He would always greet us so warmly back in the days of traveling to the St. Louis Temple and onward with any encounter. And what a support he offered us with Bro. Bridges of our Hamm radio attempts! And then what a joy when we came to know and love you, as well! You both have touched our lives deeply! Thank you! Our prayers are with you through this most difficult time! May God be with you and watch over you!!
With much love,
Owen and Dorothy Oliphant
We are saddened to learn of the passing of your husband. You both brought smiles to our faces as we served together in both the St. Louis and Kansas City Temples. You lifted our spirits with your optimism and firm faith. We send our love and prayers to you and your family at this difficult time.
Judy and John Rix
Patsy my heart aches for you. May your knowledge of the Gospel bring you comfort strength in the coming days and especially the nights. Bills warm firm hand shakes, sweet spirit and kind heart will be missed.
Patsy we are surprised to hear about Bill passing. We pray you are surrounded by family and friends at this time and find comfort and peace.
Gary and Linda Kuntz
Sorry for your loss.
We are so thankful to have known Bill. We will miss his great smile, warm greetings, and serving with him in our many Ham Radio adventures in Missouri as well as in the KC Temple. He had a great positive influence on many people. Bill will be greatly missed.
W7LH and KG4WJE
Tom and Shelia
Patsy, I was so saddened to hear of Bill’s passing. I knew he had been ill for a long time. He touched so many in the amateur community, always willing to help them. I planned to be at the funeral and serve in the temple afterward but came down with a terrible cold the day before. I am sure it was very nice with a lot in attendance. He will be missed by all.
David Jensen – W0BYU
Patsy, we were so sorry to learn of Bill’s passing. We treasured the many times we shared meals together and attended church activities. Although we haven’t kept in touch, we treasure the friendship we shared with each of you and the memories we made. You have been special friends. Our prayers are with you.
George and Amelia
So sad to hear of Bill’s passing. He was a good friend and fellow “Ham” and will be missed.
Mark – N0BKE
Sorry to hear of Bill’s passing he was a big influence to Amateur Radio, and a good friend!
So sorry to hear of your loss. My heart breaks for you as I lost my husband a month ago. You are in my prayers.