Marcella Irene Gercken was born February 3, 1943 in Hammond, Indiana. She is preceded in passing by her parents, Rollin M. and Nema I. Schahfer. She graduated from Hammond High School and Indiana University, where she won the Outstanding Band Woman Award. She was President of Tau Beta Sigma, an honorary band sorority and President of District VII, Tau Beta Sigma.
Marcella married Donald Jacob Gercken, (predeceased 2016) in 1968. Marcella taught private music lessons for many years, including time at Grimmer Middle School in Schererville, IN where she taught piano, organ and woodwind instruments. They had no children, but remained close with former students, Cathy Beiriger and Becki Howe Hartley. Marcella had a foster sister from IU, Dr. Premvadee Tanlamai, of Boston, MA. Don and Marcella's foster son, Paibul Ratanasirintrawoot (Dr. Paul Linn) of Honolulu, HI, lived with them while at IU. She is survived by her brother-in-law, Clyde (Arlene) Gercken of Saint John, IN.; her sister-in-law, Norma (Neil) Cathcart of Modesto, CA.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Marcella was a Charter Member and Past President of Northwest Indiana Chapter, IMTA, Past High Priestess of Awalim Court #9, LOSNA, Past President of GFWC Hammond Woman's Club, Past President of Jolly Sams Good Sam Club in Kankakee, IL and Amblin Ramblin Sams Good Sam Club in Crown Point, IN, Past President and Director of Midwest Notables Frustrated Maestro Chapter, FMCA.
She performed with the Kankakee (Illinois) Municipal Band, was Founder and Charter Member of Dyer Wind Ensemble, a Member of the Over 55 Showband in Winter Haven, FL and was the Bell Choir Director at Lena Vista United Methodist Church in Florida.
A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, April 23, 2021 at 12:00 P.M. at LaHayne Funeral Home 6955 Southeastern Ave. Hammond, IN 46324 with Pastor Gaylynn Dykman of Roselawn United Methodist Church officiating. Friends are invited to visit with the family at 11:00 A.M. until the time of service. The Ladies of the Oriental Shrine of North America will begin the service with a Memorial Ceremony to honor Marcella. Burial will follow at Elmwood Cemetery in Hammond, IN.
At the request of the family, Memorials may be made in Marcella's name to Shriners Hospital for Children.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Marcella Irene (Schahfer) Gercken, please visit our floral store.
Shriners Hospitals for Children
2211 North Oak Park Avenue, Chicago IL 60707