Gerald J. “Gerry” Apel

Gerald J. “Gerry” Apel

Gerald J. “Gerry” Apel, age 70, of Colorado Springs, CO and formerly of Dubuque, went home to be with the Lord peacefully at 8:14 p.m., on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, at UW Health University Hospital with his loving wife by his side. To celebrate Gerry’s life, family and friends may visit from 5:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., on Thursday, September 16, 2021, at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street. To honor Gerry’s life, memorial services will be held immediately following visitation at 6:30 p.m., on Thursday at Behr Funeral Home, with Senior Pastor Gary Kirst of the Galena Bible Church officiating. There will be a private family committal at a later date.

Gerry was born on July 12, 1951, in Dubuque, Iowa, son of Robert and Florence (Gotto) Apel.

Gerry attended St. Mary’s Grade School and graduated from Dubuque Senior High School, Class of 1969. After graduation he entered the work force, where he was employed as a foreman with the Parks Division for the City of Dubuque for 38 years, where he established close friendships with his co-workers, Tim Lattner and Patty Trowbridge. Gerry was united in marriage to the love of his life, Patricia Pline Delaney, on November 11, 2016, in their home in Dubuque, Iowa. He happily embraced his new found role of being a father and grandfather to Patricia’s children and grandchildren. After his retirement, Gerry and Patricia made the move to Colorado Springs to enjoy the great outdoors. Gerry was a grateful recipient of a double lung transplant, a gift that enabled him to enjoy 4 additional years of life on this Earth. He definitely made the best of those years, spending his time making the world around him a better place and always keeping his donor in his prayers. Gerry was a bachelor for many years before meeting Patricia and he loved spending time at the Busy Bee Café. He formed a special bond with the Kluesner Family, often joining them for the holidays. Gerry had many interests, but no doubt one of his favorites was collecting and working on classic cars, especially his Corvettes. He also enjoyed shooting and collecting guns, especially historical firearms. We are truly heartbroken at losing Gerry from our daily lives. He was a kind and gentle soul who was deeply loved by all who knew him. Gerry always appreciated the gift of life that was given to him through donation, and was able to contribute to the program at the end of his life. We will miss Gerry tremendously, but take some comfort in knowing that he will continue to live on through his gift of donation.

Those left to cherish Gerry’s memory include

his wife,
Patricia Apel, Colorado Springs, CO;

his step-daughters,
Kelicia Kelley, Cassville, WI
and Katelyn (Michael) Meyer Jr., Colorado Springs, CO;

3 step-grandchildren,
Abigail Rose Kelley, Michael Ray Meyer III, Mariella Kay Meyer;

his siblings,
Thomas (Ying) Apel, Austin, TX
and Teresa Apel, Lexington, KY;

and several nieces and nephews.

Gerry was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Patrick Apel; and a brother-in-law, William Loftus.
Gerry’s family would like to thank all of the outstanding doctors, nurses and staff of the University of Wisconsin Hospital, especially the members of the transplant unit, for all of their kindness and compassionate care of Gerry these past months.

The family will thankfully receive your support through phone calls, greeting cards and memorials in Gerry’s memory which may be mailed to Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001, Attn. Gerry Apel Family. Memorials will be donated to The Galena Bible Church, 11108 US 20, Galena, IL 61036, and to Restoring Hope Transplant House, 7457 Terrace Avenue, Middleton, WI 53562, where Gerry and Patricia stayed during Gerry’s transplant surgery and recovery.


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Behr Funeral Home
1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa
September 16th, 2021 from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM

Memorial Service

Behr Funeral Home
1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa
September 16th, 2021 at 6:30 PM

5 condolences for Gerald J. “Gerry” Apel
  1. Patty DeHeck says:

    Happy Apel is what we used to call him years ago. His obit is beautifully written and attests to how he truly lived…happy. Our prayers and sympathy to his family. Lots of happy memories of a super nice guy.
    Peace, Patty and Pat DeHeck

  2. Gary Schroeder says:

    I worked with Gerry for many of his 38 years at the Park Division. He was always a happy guy and enjoyed a good time. I enjoyed “bumping” into him on occasion after we both retired as well.

    I will always remember flooding the outdoor ice rinks with him. Back in those days in wasn’t unusual for the temps to be well below zero at 4:00 AM. Gerry would be out there holding the hose with just a light jacket on and once in awhile, he might even wear some gloves. He was truly a unique individual.

    Rest in peace my friend.

  3. Deb Dalsing says:

    The family of D65 will miss you walking the halls at UW. You will be missed. Rest in peace.

  4. Patrick Prevenas says:

    Worked with Gerry at Leisure Services for many years and always enjoyed our discussions regarding classic cars and auto racing events. Great friendly personality that made conversations with him enjoyable, fun and interesting.

  5. Mike Sullivan says:

    Gerry was a truly great guy. I just caught up with him this past year and it was so good talking to him again.

    I also worked with Gerry at the Park & Rec Dept and he always impressed me with how much he could eat yet stay so slender. He was also a very accomplished racquet ball player at one time.

    The world was a better place with Gerry Apel in it. R.I.P my friend

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