Thomas Sidney Gerbig, 81, passed away peacefully at home on May 3, 2024. Tom had a brief battle with pancreatic cancer, which he tackled with grace and a strong spirit.

Tom, born and raised in Faribault, was a quiet and steadfast member of the community his entire life. Born on February 13, 1943 in Faribault, MN to parents Sid and Thelma Gerbig, he attended Washington Elementary School, Faribault Junior High and graduated from Faribault Senior High in 1962. He went on to college at Iowa State University Technical Institute, graduating in 1964.

He worked briefly at IBM in Rochester before returning back to Faribault to take over K&G Manufacturing after his Dad’s untimely death in 1966. Tom grew the small machine shop Sid Gerbig founded into a world class leader in the contract machining market. He was devoted to growing K&G into a business his Dad and his community would be proud of, and one that would be good for Faribault. He formally retired in February 2010, at the age of 67, but was always involved at “the shop”, visiting frequently and continuing to influence the culture of K&G Manufacturing. He would say one of his greatest joys in life was his work at K&G. “You’ll never work a day in your life if you love what you do."

In 1973 Thomas married Kathleen (Cassie) Kaul, and inherited her two daughters, Leslie and M’Chele Fitch as well as Cassie’s large and joyful Kaul family. Tom and Cassie grew their family by adding 4 more daughters, Johanna, Katie, Eva and Greta.

He enjoyed flying airplanes, fishing and camping as a younger man and golf, travel, woodworking, fixing things (anything, everything!), home projects, and working outside as the years passed. He loved a to-do list and was an excellent delegator.

His very favorite lifelong passion was boating. Beginning in French Lake, progressing to the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers, Lake Namekagon in Wisconsin and then captaining his boat, the Sojourn, in the waters of the Pacific Northwest, Canada and on up to Alaska and the Inside Passage. He ended his boating career in warmer waters, including Tampa Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway near Anna Maria Island, FL.

Tom was a quiet and unassuming man, but those who knew him will remember him as kind, generous, stern, strong, fun and adventurous.

Tom is survived by his wife Cassie, of 51 years, along with all of us and our families, which includes 6 daughters, 15 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. Leslie (and Steve) Hite and their children, Harrison, Chloe and Theodore. M’chele Fitch-Braun and her children Madeline (and Tim) Klossner parents to, Eloise and Lillian, also Virginia (and Broc) Gross. Johanna (and Nick) Koparanyan and their kids, Nicolas and Cecelia. Katie (and Jeff) Van Ryn and their kids Maxwell Maas, Naomi Maas, Cain Van Ryn and Abby Van Ryn. Eva (and Alex) Villalobos and their children Graciela, Evelyn and Oliver. Greta (and Hilmer Bonilla) and their son Octavio.

He was preceded in death by his parents Sidney and Thelma Gerbig, his sister Gloria Bjorklund and his brother Fred Gerbig.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at First English Lutheran Church in Faribault with the Rev. Mark Johnson officiating.  Interment will be held at St. Lawrence Cemetery, Faribault.

Visitation will be held at the Parker Kohl Funeral Home & Crematory of Faribault on Monday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and at the church on Tuesday for one hour prior to services.

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