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Geraldine “Gerry” K. Elfline

October 10, 1940 February 1, 2023
Geraldine “Gerry” K. Elfline
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Obituary for Geraldine “Gerry” K. Elfline

Geraldine (“Gerry”) Katherine (Smith) Elfline, aged 82, of Morrison, IL, passed away peacefully on February 1, 2023.

Gerry Elfline was born on October 10, 1940 in Sheridan, Wyoming to Kenneth and Isa (Treichel) Smith. Not long after, the family relocated to Coal City, Illinois, where she would graduate from Coal City High School in 1958. After high school, she enrolled at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where she would meet the love of her life, Robert Elfline. The couple was married in 1960 and were happily married for 62 years. Gerry graduated from Knox in 1962 with a double major in chemistry and biology, after which the family relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

While in Philadelphia, Gerry embarked on her career as a scientist, first working for Wyeth Laboratories while also volunteering with the Girl Scouts of America, for which she led the first racially integrated girl scout troop on a trip to Washington, D.C. The family would relocate to Elmhurst, Illinois, and again to Morrison, Illinois, at which point Gerry returned to her career in the laboratory. Working for Iso-Clear Systems in Yorkville, Illinois, Gerry earned two patents for her work on products that were developed to remove heavy metals from wastewater.

However, it is her work as a classroom teacher that Gerry will be fondly remembered. After earning a master’s degree in education from Northern Illinois University, she taught general science classes at Morrison Junior High School before moving to Morrison High School, where she taught courses in Chemistry, Biology, and Earth Science. A devoted and passionate teacher, she was immensely proud of the large number of her students who would go on to pursue careers in the natural sciences.

Yet if asked to describe her greatest achievement, she would undoubtedly point to her four children and five grandchildren, all of whom have been touched by her love of life, boundless energy, and gift for nurturing living things. She is survived by her husband Robert Elfline; her four children, Ann (Elfline) Davie, Alan Elfline, Ross Elfline, and Robert Elfline, five grandchildren, and hundreds of students who all know a great deal more about the natural world than they did before they knew her.

To honor Gerry, the family is having an open house at the family home, 508 N. Orange in Morrison, on Sunday, February 5, 2023, from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM. All are welcome. Cremation rites have been accorded. The Bosma-Renkes Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the memorial scholarship fund that is being established in her memory.

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Previous Events

Open House




3:00 PM 2/5/2023 3:00:00 PM - 6:00 PM 2/5/2023 6:00:00 PM
Elfline Family Home

508 N. Orange Street
Morrison, IL 61270

Elfline Family Home
508 N. Orange Street Morrison 61270 IL
United States

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