Gerard Dempsey

June 6, 1940 – November 10, 2022

Gerard Edwin Dempsey entered into eternal life on Thursday, November 10, 2022. Surrounded by his wife of 55 years, Anne Marie, all of his children, and a number of children-in-law and grandchildren, Jerry passed peacefully from this world, prepared to meet his God and Maker.

For Jerry, his focus was always on his God, his faith, his wife, and his family – and as best as he could, always in that order. Jerry’s deeply generous nature and humble commitment to self-giving have long provided a guiding example to his children and grandchildren.

A loving husband, a generous father of 12, a supremely patient grandfather of 42, and a gentle great-grandfather of one, Jerry was a man like no other. His sense of humor was witty and pithy – and well into the realm of wonderfully weird. His knowledge of history, especially of the American Civil War, was unparalleled. His ability to speak, read, and write Latin made him hugely popular among those of his children and grandchildren saddled with studying the language in high school. Embarrassing his children and grandchildren with playful, respectful quirkiness was perhaps his greatest skill. His sense of fashion was non-existent. His understanding of the culinary arts and nutritional best practices hardly deserve a mention. He truly understood the value of good griptions.

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Jerry was a dedicated, hardworking, and deeply skilled lawyer, spending more than 50 years in practice in Chicago.

Jerry was fond of reading (3 or 4 books about history simultaneously), classical music, grilling dinner in inclement weather, Pearl Jam, and the occasional cocktail for medicinal purposes. His favorite hobby was finding ways to demonstrate his love, support, and commitment to his wife.

For more than 15 years, Jerry suffered an increasingly debilitating motor-neuron disorder that took away his ability to walk, move, and eventually, breathe. Yet, Jerry was not one to complain. He never once bemoaned his medical condition or what he could no longer do. His only lament through it all was the worry that he might prove a burden to his loved ones. That worry was never realized: the love, affection, and admiration that his family holds for him always continued to grow.

Among his final concerns, Jerry encourages everyone, as soon as possible, to meet with a priest to discuss end-of-life issues and to go to confession.

As one of his last requests, Jerry requested prayers for his soul.

In lieu of flowers, the Dempsey family welcomes donations to the Formation Foundation at

Friedrichs Funeral Home, which will host the wake for Gerard Dempsey, posted a copy of his obituary on their own website. Read Jerry’s obituary on the Friedrichs website.