Gerald Justen, a loving and adventurous soul, passed away peacefully on Sept. 1, 2023, in Barrington, Ill.
Born on June 12, 1943, Gerald lived a life defined by kindness, exploration, and a profound love for his family and friends. Gerald was the cherished husband of Marysue Justen, whom he married 40 years ago on May 27, 1983, in Nevada. Their love story was one of mutual respect and shared adventures, providing a strong foundation for their family.
Gerald was a beloved brother to Patricia Dunwiddie and a dear brother-in-law to Jacqueline (Burton) Rundall and Mark Saban (Mary). He was a treasured uncle to Kathy Dixon, Sherry Jenkins, and Robert Sand, and a fond cousin to Tony Adams. Gerald was also a favorite nephew of his late Aunt Isabelle Kellner.
He is preceded in death by his parents and his brothers-in-law, Robert Dunwiddie, Harvey Sand, and S. David Saban.
Gerald was a proud alumnus of Waukegan Township High School. His education served as a steppingstone to a distinguished career in the United States Navy, where he served as a serviceman on the USS America aircraft carrier from 1964 to 1969. His service took him to explore countries such as Turkey, Italy, and Cuba.
After his military service, he transitioned into the corporate world, where he worked as a computer operator in various manufacturing companies. Gerald was a man of diverse interests. He was an avid bowler and a talented photographer. His love for ’50s Chevy cars was well-known among his friends and family, and he was known to spend hours tinkering with vintage models. Animals held a special place in his heart, especially German shepherds and cats. His love for wildlife critters was evident in the care he took of the local fauna in his neighborhood.
Gerald was a man of the movies, with a particular fondness for westerns and war films. He was a lifelong fan of John Wayne and enjoyed the Howdy Doody series. These interests were not just hobbies for Gerald, but a reflection of his adventurous spirit and his appreciation for storytelling and history. Gerald Justen was a man who lived his life with kindness and a spirit of adventure. His love for his family, his service to his country, and his diverse interests painted a picture of a man who was always ready for the next adventure.
His passing leaves a void in the hearts of those who loved him, but his memory will live on in the stories they share and the love they hold for him. His life was well-lived, marked by love, service, and a spirit of exploration. He will be dearly missed.
We want to thank the ICU staff of Northwestern Medicine Hospital of McHenry for their huge support and care helping Gerald and his family through this tough and sad time. There will be a celebration of life at a later date.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Justen Funeral Home & Crematory, McHenry. For information, please call the funeral home at 815-385-2400, or visit justenfh.com, where friends and loved ones may share memories of Gerald on his tribute wall.