Hansen-Spear Funeral Home – Quincy, Illinois

Parker Lee “Chip” Gerdes

Parker Lee “Chip” Gerdes, 42, of 2223 Vermont Street, died in his home at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, May 6, 2013.

Parker Lee "Chip" Gerdes | Hansen-Spear Funeral Home - Quincy, ILHe was born September 10, 1970, in Quincy, a son of William Frederick and Barbara Ann Gates Gerdes III.  On July 2, 2005, he married Jennifer Lynn O’Hara in Quincy.  She survives.

Chip was a 1989 graduate of Quincy Senior High School.  He played varsity football for the QHS Blue Devils.  He was also an Illinois State Scholar.  He attended DePauw University and Quincy University with a major in political science.

In the past he worked for Michelmann Steel Construction Company and Mid-States Door & Hardware, companies founded by his Great Great Grandfather J.H. Michelmann in 1865.  Most recently he worked as a behind-the-scenes political activist and consultant and was a disciple of legendary Republican operative Roger Stone.  He helped win many victories for conservative candidates.

Politics was Chip’s passion in life, besides his wife, daughter and family.  He was a grassroots conservative and a good friend of Andrew Breitbart.  Chip was active in many organizations over the years including the Conservative Political Action Conference, the Tea Party, many political campaigns and the GOP.  Chip’s passion and his work in politics was recognized across the country by The Gateway Pundit, Legal Insurrection, The Quincy Journal, Breitbart News, The Illinois Review, The Other McCain, Twitchy US Politics and Dana Loesch Radio and more.  His passing was recognized on the floor of the United States House of Representatives by Missouri Representative Ann Wagner.

Chip was a member of Vermont Street United Methodist Church.  He was a huge fan of the Alabama football team, RollTide!

Survivors also include his daughter, Alexis Mary “Lexi” Gerdes; his mother Barbara Ann Gates Gerdes; his sister Laura Gerdes Ehrhart and brother-in-law Richard Matthew Ehrhart; his brother William Frederick Gerdes IV; his niece Clara Elizabeth Ann Ehrhart and his nephews Gates Nikolaus Ehrhart and Richard William “Trey” Ehrhart; his grandmother Mildred Gates; his in-laws Rick and Mary Ann O’Hara, his sisters-in-law Jessica (Tyler) Tomlinson and Stephanie O’Hara and his brother-in-law Matthew O’Hara; his Uncle Joseph and Aunt Janet Gates Conover, Aunt Mary Gates, Aunt Ruth (Doug) Bush, Uncle James Bitter and Uncle Gordon Forbes as well as many cousins; and his very special dog Bear.

He was preceded in death by his father; his grandfather, Parker S. Gates; his grandfather, Clarence and grandmother, Octavia Gerdes; his, Aunt Jeanette Gerdes Bitter and his uncle, Clarence Lee “Skip” Gerdes.

Service:  10:00 am Monday (May 13, 2013) at Vermont Street United Methodist Church with the Rev. Dr. Scott Grulke officiating.

Burial:  Greenmount Cemetery, Quincy, Illinois

Visitation:  2:00  to 5:00 pm Sunday (May 12, 2013) at Hansen-Spear Funeral Home.

Memorials:  Alexis Gerdes Education Fund or the Quincy Humane Society

Hansen-Spear Funeral Directors are in charge of arrangements.



  1. The Board of Directors for the Warrior Appreciation Night (WAN) Fund send our heartfelt condolences to the Gerdes Family…Chip was a great supporter of the military men and women of this country…he and I had many discussions about his love for our nation and sometimes, I could tell he missed serving his country in uniform….but he never gave up, he continued to serve by leading the conservative cause from behind the scenes and working to get our country back to it’s roots….Chip, we will miss you Brother….God Bless!

  2. Our deepest and heartfelt prayers for your great loss. You are not alone and please know that Chip is still with us in spirit and will now be looking over us from a better place.
    When the phrase “Bigger than life” is used, Chip would have been one that all of us would have immediately thought of. He lived his life, every day to the fullest with no regrets. Fearless, in life and in politics, he was a warrior for the things that mattered…his family, his friends, his dogs, his country and freedom for all Americans. And he never apologized for it. Although he would give no ground in defending all of these and could be extremely tough, we all know what a big teddy bear he was underneath. He was a one of a kind character but he was also OUR character and we loved him for it.
    I’m sure today and throughout the coming weeks many of us will be sharing memories of our times with Chip. And as many of you know, he was a great football fan. You were not to bother Chip during football games. Especially college football. If I may share one of my favorites because I’m sure many of his close friends and family would appreciate it.
    A few years ago I got a call from Chip wanting to know if I could get him tickets to the National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl in California. The game was between Alabama and University of Texas. Any college football fan knows how hard these tickets are to get so if you can snag a pair you consider yourself very lucky. I remember Chip calling up on a Sunday morning right after the teams were decided. because he was a huge Alabama fan. I told Chip I wasn’t sure I could get a pair of tickets at all since this was a particularly popular game but I’d try. I’d asked how many he needed. Not missing a beat, Chip said “Eight…and in a good place too.”
    I was dumbfounded “Eight!? I told him..To the biggest game in the country?” But that was Chip. He never looked at anything as impossible to do. He just said “Aw come on Rose, I know you can do this. You can do anything.” Chip believed in the power and ability of people to do the impossible.
    Chip got his eight tickets. He kindly invited me to tag along with his close friends to this game and it is one of my favorite memories. The friends he brought were a clear reflection of the quality of friends Chip chose and the loyalty he engendered from all of them. He was a good judge of character and I was honored to meet them. It was clear to me that Chip not only had loyal friends he was loyal to them. Which is a rare quality which we all too often miss in this tech driven society. He never lost the ability to reach out to people personally.
    Chip had me sit,in between Andrew Breitbart and Mike Flynn which was an amazing experience. Talk about a master class in multi-tasking and politics. Chip, Andrew and Mike watched the game while simultaneously answering their phones and texting info for the next breaking story for Big Government cheering on the teams and carrying on an entire in-depth conversations. All the while, Chip dressed in his Alabama red football shirt and appropriate Crimson Tide gear was yelling “Roll Tide!” from the end of our row. Even with 100,000 fans screaming in that stadium, you could still hear Chip’s distinctive voice. He made friends with everyone around him. That was just Chip. He was the Pied Piper wherever he went. His enthusiasm was infectious in everything he did and we never put anything beyond what Chip would do.
    So when the game was interrupted by a guy in a Spiderman outfit streaking across the field, we all looked to the end of the row to see Chip’s empty seat, someone said “Where’s Chip?” as we all looked on the field. Naw….Chip wouldn’t go that far, would he? Well, I think we all know the answer to that question. The Spiderman wasn’t Chip although we all wouldn’t have been surprised.
    He always did what he wanted to do but always with the best intentions. In the football game of life, Chip never gave up even if it was long and goal. Even if the quarterback got sacked and the two minute warning had come and gone, Chip was in the background figuring out what play to run in order to win the game. Whatever play it was, it certainly wouldn’t have been conventional. And if the game was lost, Chip never got downtrodden about it. His attitude was always “Well we may have lost this game, but we still have the rest of the season to come back!” And the season after that, and the season after that. The eternal optimist and happy warrior is what we will and must remember along with all of his other very special qualities.
    Our hearts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time. The world is a little smaller for having left such a huge void in everyone’s hearts.
    Rest in peace Chip my dear friend and from up there in heaven I’m sure we’ll be hearing you encouraging us on with that big booming voice. “Roll Tide”. God Bless You!

  3. This country has lost a Great Patriot. Chip loved this country and he loved our Troops so very much! My deepest condolences to the family and Thank You all for sharing this Great Warrior with the rest of us. There will NEVER be another Chip and he will be missed so very very much.
    Beverly Perlson
    The Band of Mothers

  4. Jenny and Lexi, we are so sorry to hear of Chip’s untimely passing. We pray for strength for both of you during this difficult time.

  5. My wife and I are very sad and will be praying for Chip’s family. We also want to say thank you to his family and to God for sharing him with the rest of us.Chip was a fearless patriot who was always there for me when I needed advice or just someone to talk to. He believed in me before I believed in myself and never once expected or asked for anything in return. I have been truly blessed and honored to have known Chip.

  6. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Gerdes family. You will be missed. Rest in Peace my friend.

  7. Chip was always bigger than life…..Living life to the fullest. Gonna miss all his opinions and comments on politics, which he never held back. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him.

  8. Please know how sorry I am for your loss. Chip was such a good guy to so many people but most importantly to his family as a husband and father. He will truly be missed! You will always be in my thoughts and prayers . . .

  9. Our deepest sympathy to you, Lexi and family. You all are in our thoughts and prayers.

  10. Chip was a refuge in so many political storms, a connector who brought the right people together at critical moments. But he was also an amazing, generous, and patient friend, and that’s the legacy that will endure with me, at least–friend.

  11. Chip’s vibrance and enthusiasm were rays of bright light in an often cloudy day. He was a romantic rider, writer and righter. He’d listen to the conventional explanation of why things were not good enough for regular folks, he’d trounce all of the contradictions, ride out of town, write the copy that exposed the scam, and right the wrong. It is a measure of his impact that folks he never met and never knew his name improved their lot due to his activism. It was a privilege to know him and it is a vast loss to see him gone. But to Jennifer and Alexis, and his family and friends, one knows the loss is much greater. You are in our prayers, as Chip is in our list of heroic activist examples. Godspeed in your time of loss, you are not alone.

  12. My heart goes out to the entire Gerdes family. I remember Chip in high school being larger than life. He towered over other students in the halls of QHS. Chip was always good for a laugh ever since I met him. Present day Chip had a passion for conservative politics. I was amazed at Chips knowledge of current events and admired his passion . Election night a few weeks ago I considered myself lucky to spend the evening with Chip waiting for results. Chip was still larger than life that night . He had his precious daughter with him and you could see that she was far more important than election night. That night Chip agreed to assist me if I decide to run for alderman again. Chip made huge challenges seem small. I consider him to be one of my dear friends. I’m sure chip and Andrew have had their first meeting and are still with us in spirit. This has hit me particularly hard because it almost happened to me in January. Chip will still be a part of my campain in spirit. He will always be a respected friend of mine. My heart goes out to his family and my prayers have only just begun for them. We love you Chip and I know you will be there in my future endeavors. Rest in peace my good friend.

  13. This news just breaks my heart. Although I never had the honor of meeting Chip, I feel I have known him, his beautiful wife Jenni and thier adorable little girl, Lexi through the many photos and stories shared by his sister, my good friend, Laura. My condolences to the entire Gerdes family.

  14. Chip was an American Patriot and a good friend. He is already sorely missed.

  15. The world is a little less fun with Chip gone. I am so sad for his family’s loss and sad for our collective loss. He was a loyal and heartfelt as they come- not something we find very often. Even though he did not know me well, he bailed me out of a tight spot and set the record straight. I’ve always been grateful and it started a nice friendship. I am really going to miss him and know I will keep finding more instances when I that loss presents itself. He was truly one of the good guys and will be sorely missed.

  16. Chip was always interesting to talk to and be around, never a dull moment with him in the room, that was a given. I am so sorry for your loss. I pray for God’s Eternal Peace for Chip and God’s Peace & Blessings for your entire family.

  17. Praying for him and his family and friends.. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.. Im so so sorry for your loss.. “Uncle” Chip was one of a kind he will be missed by many.. your time was to short, but now your up in Heaven with your loved ones who have left before us,and my mom tell her hello for me! Let me know Jennifer if you need anything for you or lexi… love you guys, God Bless!
    Love, Cutie

  18. Will miss you man, no one else had the passion for politics and college football that so often overlapped. Will miss our great conversations on both subjects. Praying for you and your family.

  19. So sorry for this loss. My heart, prayers and thoughts are all with the Gerdes family during this tough time. Chip was a friend to so many. I have many great memories of this great guy, that will be so deeply missed.

  20. I had the privilege of meeting Chip a few months ago. He travelled several hours to attend the voting event in Van Buren for the Missouri Congressional seat. This was all for the benefit and support of my brother-in-law, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.
    Afterwards we congregated for some good ole Bootheel barbeque and beers, and to debrief and vent on the day’s events. Chip was the center of attention, not due to any attempts on his part, but rather because of his charisma, wit, and keen insights. Intellectually he was twice his age, yet his mischievous smile, and twinkling eyes gave way to his youth. He spoke so fondly of his family, and thought nothing of the several hour drive that lie before him to reach his treasured destination. His presence that day meant the world to Peter, and as part of Peter’s family and fan base, it meant a great deal to all of us as well. Chip was not one who seemed to think that life was a dress rehearsal. He seemed to me to be one who performed great feats, giving life’s challenges a swift kick in the rear, and then would welcome the next act onto his stage!
    Our prayers and condolences go out to his family. We understand that his shoes will not be easily filled, and his departure leaves a void that will be nearly impossible to accept. May God’s grace be with his family in this most difficult transition.

  21. Our prayers, hearts, and thoughts are with all of Chip’s family. God bless all of you with comfort and grace through this very trying time. Chip’s smile and warmth will always be fondly remembered by our family. We will miss you!

  22. Praying for him and all his family and friends you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Rest in Peace chip and thanks for being a good friend.

  23. My fearless friend, things are not going to be the same. So much left undone. At least Andrew was there to welcome you. Prayers for your family

  24. I am so, so sorry for your great loss….my heart weeps for you all….If I can do anything for any of you….God Bless!

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