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Gerald A. “Jerry” Lauer, Sr.

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

Gerald A. “Jerry” Lauer Sr., 80, a well-known Petrolia resident, and highly respected former fire chief and ambulance commander, passed away in the comfort of his home, with his loving family at his side late Thursday afternoon, September 29, 2022.

Gerald was born in Lucinda, Clarion County on June 14, 1942. He was the son of the late William J. Sr. and Ruth E. Schill Lauer.

Jerry was a 1958 graduate of A-C Valley School District, and a US Army Veteran, serving at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He was of the Catholic faith and was a longtime member of the former St. Mary Roman Catholic Church in Parker. Jerry retired in 2002, following nearly 40 years of service at Sonneborn in Petrolia, where he was one of the “original” hydro plant operators.

In his earlier years, he had been employed by Pullman Standard in Butler. Jerry had a longtime and distinguished career in fire service and EMS. He was a life member of the Petrolia Volunteer Fire Department and had served the department as chief, ambulance commander, president, and chairman of the board of directors. Jerry was also a life member of the Parker City Volunteer Fire Department. He was an EMT for more than 35 years and was among some of the first EMTs in Butler County. He was a founding member and served as president of the Rural Firefighters Association, and was a Pennsylvania State Forest Fire Warden for 50 years. Jerry was fond of American La France fire engines and was skilled at working on them for many different departments.

Jerry received the distinguished American Red Cross Life Saving Award. He was a longtime Petrolia councilman and had served the council as president. He was a social member of the 7073 VFW Post in Parker. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, gambling, and singing country western music with local area bands. Jerry and his wife enjoyed traveling and spending their winters in Florida.

He is survived by his wife, Alta L. Rottman Lauer, whom he married at St. Mary’s Church in Parker on January 4, 1964. Also surviving are three children, Gerald A. “Jerry” Lauer Jr., and his wife Donna, of Parker, Mark A. Lauer and his wife, Karen, of Butler; and Jennifer L. Lauer and her husband, Steven Smith, of Petrolia; six grandchildren, Colby J. Lauer and his wife, Jenny, Brandon S. Lauer and his wife, Ashley, Christopher A. Throne (Hailey), Ashley M. Hogsett and her husband, Austin, Heather Smith, and Sabra Johnston and her husband, Chase; his “extra kid”, Erin Dunlap; 17 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Ella Mae Drake, of Houston, TX, and Carol Ann Fitzgerald, of Las Vegas, NV; two sisters-in-law, Carrie Baker, of Warren, OH, and Anita Hoover of Ocala, FL; a brother-in-law, Ferdinand Rottman, of Arizona; as well as a number of nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In addition to his parents, Jerry was preceded in death by a brother and sister-in-law, William and Charlotte Lauer, a sister-in-law, Marlene Rottman, and two brothers-in-law, Robert Drake, and Robert Baker, as well as his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Ferdinand and Louise Rottman.

The family would like to thank Encompass Rehab, Sunnyview Rehab, and Amedisys Hospice.

Friends will be received at the Hile Funeral Home of Karns City, 128 Main Street, Karns City from 2-8 p.m. Wednesday, October 5, 2022, and from 10-11 a.m. Thursday, October 6, 2022. Fire department honors, led by members of the Petrolia Volunteer Fire Department, will be held at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. A funeral service will follow from the funeral home at 11 a.m. Thursday with the Rev. Robert Mathias, a retired Presbyterian pastor, officiating. Military honors will be accorded at the funeral home by members of VFW Post 7073 in Parker. the interment will be in Parker Presbyterian Cemetery.

Memorial contributions in Jerry’s name may be made to the Petrolia Volunteer Fire Dept, PO Box 237, Petrolia, Pa., or to the Karns City Regional Ambulance Service, PO Box 21, Petrolia, PA.

For more information or to send a condolence, please visit

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