In Memoriam: Barbara Gerlach

Barbara Gerlach, former president of Advance Corp., passed away in St. Paul, Minnesota, on December 29. She was 73.

A PPAI Fellow and former Association board member, Gerlach was an active volunteer in the promotional products industry. She served as president of the Upper Midwest Association of Promotional Professionals (UMAPP) in 1993-1994 and participated in several of its committees. Gerlach was inducted into the UMAPP Hall of Fame in 2005.

She started her career as a teacher at Grace High School and later moved to Advance Corp. Her tenure with the supplier lasted 30 years, and she ultimately rose to the role of president at the Cottage Grove, Minnesota, company.

Gerlach was preceded in death by her parents, sister Monica Johnson, brother Stephen and sister-in-law Audrey Gerlach. She is survived by her sister Margaret Jansen and her husband James, brother Father William Gerlach and brother-in-law David Johnson; as well as nieces, nephews and their families.

Services were held at Maternity of Mary Catholic Church in St. Paul, and burial was at Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Maternity of Mary Church, where Gerlach was a long-time member, and member of its finance council and trustee of the parish.

filed under January 2021
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Comments (2)
Jerry Chiat
January 7, 2021
Sorry to hear about Barbara, Her company was great to work with even though I did not know her it is a loss not only to her family but our industry
Mary Ellen Sokalski
January 6, 2021
I am so saddened by this news about dear Barbara, who served our industry with the epitome of professionalism. I hope those who knew and loved her are filled with many happy memories... Barbara in her pristine suits and pumps, welcoming every passing person with a smile and great advice.
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