Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Geraldine 'Gerri' A. Conley

MERCER, Wis. - Geraldine "Gerri" A. Conley, 78, of Mercer, passed away peacefully at her home with her husband by her side on Monday, June 28, 2021.

Gerri was born the daughter of Edward and Evelyn (Lund) Lillie on Aug. 29, 1942, in Bessemer, Michigan.

Gerri was married to Melvin Ruff on May 11, 1961, in Eau Claire. From this marriage she had her three sons - Brian, Bradley and Brent. She moved to Rolla, Missouri, where she managed the Howard Johnson Restaurant. At the restaurant, she was not only the boss but also the mentor and mother to so many. Her "girls" - Gloria, Cindy, Petra, Betty, Stacie, Judy and Brenda - held a special place in her heart for the rest of her life. She moved to Homer, Georgia, to be close to her sister, Patricia. There she managed chicken houses, a lumber yard and a house cleaning business. She loved bowling and participating in leagues and was known to be a bit competitive.

Gerri was united in marriage with Harvey Conley on March 12, 2011, in Rolla.

Gerri loved spending time outdoors. She enjoyed camping, fishing, hiking, bird watching and flower gardening. She was an avid dog lover and had many dogs through the years. She left an impression on everyone she met with her open heart, quick wit, and sense of humor. She was the cool auntie, the unconventional mother, and grandma, our "unique angel."

Gerri is survived by her husband, Harvey; her children, Brian Ruff, Bradley (Lennie) Ruff and Brent (Brenda) Ruff; Harvey's children, Tom (Julie) Conley and Terri (Jon) Nortman; brother-in-law, Clayton (Joyce) Conley; sisters-in-law, Donna Conley, Darlene Lillie and Wanda Lillie; her grandchildren, Alicia, Ryan (Tasha), Melanie, Brandon, Cory, Michael, Lance, Liana, John Paul, Emily and Megan; her great-grandchildren, Aiden, Aria, Sam, Carter and Justice; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; Edward O. and Evelyn L. (Lund) Lillie; five sisters, Maxine, Joyce, Patricia, Belvajean and Adell; four brothers, Edward, Patrick, Michael and Jerry; and brother-in-law, John Conley.

The family would like to thank Gerri's special friends Kim and Edith Huybrecht for all their help and support for Gerri.

A celebration of Gerri's life is being planned at this time.

The family has chosen McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home of Ironwood to honor Gerri's legacy of life. You can leave a condolence or a tribute at