Cover photo for Gerlof Homan's Obituary
Gerlof Homan Profile Photo

Gerlof Homan

August 28, 1929 — November 17, 2017

Gerlof Homan

BLOOMINGTON- Gerlof D. Homan, 88, of Bloomington, passed away at 9:20 PM on Friday November 17, 2017 at Martin Health Center in Bloomington.

His Memorial service will be held at 10:30 AM on Tuesday November 28, 2017 at The Mennonite Church of Normal with Rev. Tim Schrag and Rev. Jane Roeschley officiating. Visitation will be from 4:30 pm -7:30 pm on Monday November 27 at the church. Burial of cremains will be private in Ropp Cemetery. Kibler-Brady-Ruestman-Memorial Home in Bloomington is assisting the family with arrangements.

Memorials may be given to Mennonite Central Committee, Akron, PA or Mennonite Disaster Service, Lititz, PA or Jubilee Partners, Comer, GA.

Gerlof was born in Appingdam the Netherlands on August 28, 1929, the youngest son of Klaas and Sietske Bierma Homan.

He married Roelie Noord at Bethel College in North Newton, KS on June 28, 1953. She survives.

Also surviving are 3 sons, Paul ( Julie ) Homan, El Paso, IL, Bob Homan, Washington D.C.,and Chris ( Fabiola Cordova ) Homan, Bethesda, MD; 4 grandchildren, Sarah ( Matt ) Schumacher, Patrick ( Vimla Dayal) Homan, Oliver Homan, Leo Homan; and 1 great grandchild, Reese Schumacher.

He was preceded in death by his parents and 3 brothers.

Gerlof experienced the German occupation of 1940-1945 of the Netherlands, an episode that left an indelible impression on him. He received his secondary education in his home town and went to the United States in 1952. He attended Bethel College in North Newton, KS where he received his Bachelors of Arts in 1954. He received his Masters of Arts and his PhD in History at the University of Kansas in 1956 and 1958.

From 1958 to 1963 he taught at Central State University, Edmond, OK; from 1963-64 at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; from 1964-68 at Kansas State College in Pittsburg, KS. He came to Illinois State University in 1968 and retired in 1994. From 1976 to 1980 he served as Chair of the History Department. He has published 3 books and many articles on French, Dutch, American, and peace history and was one of the co-founders of ISU's peace studies program.

He served as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, Compassion Center, McLean County Juvenile Detention Center, Victim Offender Reconciliation Program, Mennonite Disaster Service and various volunteer projects through the Mennonite Church. He was an active member of the Mennonite Church of Normal.

Gerlof was very grateful for having been born in the land of Erasmus, Rembrandt, Hugo Grotius, and Menno Simons and for many people in his native land and the USA who inspired, challenged and befriended him.
Online memories and condolences may be directed to his family at


NOV 27. 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM (CST)

Mennonite Church of Normal
805 S. Cottage ave
Normal, IL

Memorial Service

NOV 28. 10:30 AM (CST)

Mennonite Church of Normal
805 S. Cottage ave
Normal, IL

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gerlof D. Homan, please visit our floral store.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Gerlof Homan, please visit our flower store.


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