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Gilbert Adam Spahn

November 24, 1927 ~ February 17, 2022 (age 94)

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Gilbert (Gil) Adam Spahn passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 17, 2022, at the age of 94.  He leaves behind his beloved wife Betty (Elizabeth) and a loving family of eight children, seventeen grandchildren, and sixteen great-grandchildren, more than seventy years in the making.  A funeral mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on April 11, 2022, in St. James Catholic Church, Rockford, IL with visitation preceding the mass at 10:00 a.m. at the church.   The family will host a celebration of life in the parish hall immediately following mass.

Gil was born on November 24, 1927, the fourth of five children born to William and Olivia Spahn.  Gil grew up, went to college, and met the love of his life while living in Evansville, Indiana.  On December 1, 1951, he and Betty Folz were wed at St. Boniface Catholic Church and the pair turned their attention to building a future and a family together.  Over the next decade and a half, Gil and Betty’s family grew and he became the devoted father to eight children: Cathy, Terri, Marie, Gil, Jane, Greg, Steve, and Linda.  Gil’s job as a refrigeration engineer took him and his family from Haubstadt, IN; back to Evansville; on to St. Joseph, MI; then Rockford, IL; and later Harrodsburg, KY.  Together with their children, Gil and Betty had countless adventures including road trips to D.C. in the 1960s, numerous family reunions, and a tour of Catholic churches across Italy, including a mass with the Pope, for their 50th wedding anniversary.

Gil had an incredible love of music that started at a very early age.  He sang in church choirs, accompanied a church guitar group in Rockford, and was known to sing at the top of his lungs on car trips.  He loved musicals and would regularly regale his family with his own rendition of “Edelweiss” from The Sound of Music.  There was always a piano in the house and he encouraged all of his children to play instruments and appreciate music.

Gil lived a full life, surrounded by a loving family and generous friends.  He was giving of his time, praying for couples going through difficult times and supporting others when they lost loved ones.  He rarely sat still and was constantly fixing something, building something, working in the yard, babysitting, cleaning, playing, or creating.  There was nothing he couldn’t do, nothing he couldn’t fix, and nothing he couldn’t build.  Of course, the most important thing he and Betty ever built was the large and loving family he leaves behind.  Gil Spahn will be greatly missed, but, more importantly, he will be forever remembered for the many roles he played and the sheer amount of goodness he brought into this world.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests charitable donations be considered for either (Alzheimer’s Association) or (Rockford Rescue Mission).

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gilbert Adam Spahn, please visit our floral store.


April 11, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. James Catholic Church (Rockford, IL)

Funeral Mass
April 11, 2022

11:00 AM
St. James Catholic Church (Rockford, IL)

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