Gerald Leon “Pappy” Preusz, 90, of Vincennes, Indiana, passed away in the early evening of Monday, July 2, 2018, at Good Samaritan Hospital in his hometown. The second youngest of six children, Gerald was born on February 28, 1928, to William Patrick and Eva Wilda Dunham Preusz. Pappy was an avid historian and had traced his family’s lineage back to the first settlers from Germany. He found great joy in learning about his past and honoring those who had come before him. Gerald married Sylvia Flanders in 1958, and she preceded him in death in March of 1980.
Born and raised in Vincennes, Gerald took great pride in his city. He was the first of four generations to play football and basketball at Lincoln High School, and he enjoyed following the Alices – especially when one of his kids or grandkids was involved. Pappy loved attending Homecoming reunions with his classmates and stayed in touch with many of them through the years. He also loved his Indiana Hoosiers and has an entire family room dedicated to his team.
Gerald retired from United Insurance Company of America on June 30, 1989, where he was remembered as a dedicated employee and compassionate manager by those who had the pleasure of working with him. His family takes pride in the fact that he was the first manager in the company to hire a woman, as well as the first manager to hire a black man. He wasn’t interested in gender or race; he was only concerned with someone’s ‘stickability’ – his chosen word for work ethic and determination. He had many great memories from his career and enjoyed talking about the people and experiences from his time there.
An avid pool player, Gerald owned and operated several pool halls throughout his lifetime and still has a pool table in his house that has been home to numerous family showdowns through the years. Pappy was also a golfer and those who have had the pleasure of golfing with him remember him as the go-to guy for making putts. He also enjoyed playing cards – gin rummy – with his buddies at the Elks and did so for many years. Most everyone who knew Gerald, knows he’s famous for his “Pappy Preusz’s Bar-B-Q.” He enjoyed making it and sharing it with those he loved, and the tradition will continue with his kids and grandkids.
Gerald will be remembered for his fierce love of family and gatherings at his house to keep his family close. His six children, seventeen grandchildren, twenty-eight great grandchildren, and eight great-great grandchildren spent time at his house on many Thanksgivings, Christmases, and Fourths of July. The Fourth was Pappy’s favorite holiday, as he and his kids and grandkids fired up the grills at the crack of dawn and cooked Preusz’s B-B-Q for all who had gathered. It was a time-honored tradition not to be missed.
Gerald, “Pappy”, “Pops”, “Dad”, “Daddy”, “Grandpa”, “Happy” Preusz, will be dearly missed and forever loved and honored by his family. He was preceded in death by his wife and parents, as well as his siblings, Harry, Charles (Catherine), and Bob Preusz, and June (Melvin) Curry, and Helen (Joe) Brubaker. His sister-in-law, Diane Preusz, survives. He was also preceded in death by his son Gerald “Jim” Preusz, and a grandchild, Jason Koenig. His children Sherry Preusz, Steve (Dottie) Preusz, Debra Preusz (Randal) Ashmore, Tina Preusz, and Sam (Kathy) Preusz all survive him, as do his many grands, greats, great-greats, and nieces and nephews.
Visitation for family and friends will be on Saturday, July 7, from 10am-1pm at Goodwin Family Funeral Home in Vincennes. The service for Gerald will begin immediately after.