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Gebes, one of original builders of Batavia VFW post, dies

Published: Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
(H. Rick Bamman file photo – hbamman@shawmedia.com)
World War II veteran George Gebes of Batavia passed away Monday at age 98. He helped build the Batavia Overseas Club that became the Batavia VFW Post.

BATAVIA – George Gebes is being remembered for his many contributions to Batavia.

“He was one of the stalwarts of building the Batavia VFW post,” Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke said. “He deserves a lot of credit for what stands there.”

Gebes, a World War II veteran, died Monday at his Batavia home. He was 98.

After coming home from World War II in 1946, Gebes helped secure a loan for property on the east side of the Fox River with the intention of building a place for veterans to honor them as well as provide them with a place that promoted their ideals of community.

Batavia Overseas Post 1197 is at 645 S. River St. Gebes, a past commander of the post, was honored in 2010 during the annual Batavia VFW Loyalty Day Parade.

Other community activities included serving as Batavia 4th Ward alderman, being a member of the Kane County Mounted Patrol and being a 77-year member of Holy Cross Church in Batavia, where he was an usher for more than 50 years.

Gebes and his wife of 72 years, Fran Gebes, were honored as Batavia’s Citizens of the Year in 2002. She died in 2011 at the age of 96.

Gebes “was a doer all his life,” said his son, Ralph Gebes. “He had to be involved with helping people and the community. He loved going around to the schools and talking to them about being a veteran.”

The visitation for Gebes will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Moss Family Funeral Home, 209 S. Batavia Ave., Batavia.

The Mass celebrating his life will be officiated by the Rev. Joseph Folzenlogen at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 2300 Main St., Batavia.

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