Cover photo for Dennis J. Schaer's Obituary
Dennis J. Schaer Profile Photo
1945 Dennis 2018

Dennis J. Schaer

June 3, 1945 — August 14, 2018

Dennis James Schaer, 73, of Rockford died at home August 14, 2018, surrounded by his family after a yearlong battle against glioblastoma mulitforme. Born June 3, 1945, son of Robert and Lena (Tarro) Schaer. Graduate of West High School and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Served in the US Army Reserves from 1967-1973. Dennis was a CPA and worked for Rockford Products from 1970-1990 as VP of Finance, Haldex-Barnes as VP of Finance, Reliant Industries as CFO, served as GM of the University Club of Rockford and was self-employed as an accountant in recent years. Active volunteer at St. Peter Cathedral including serving as assistant scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 37. Past President of Janet Wattles Mental Health Center, Crusader Clinic Health Foundation, Financial Executives Institute, Rockford Diocese Catholic Charities, Rockford Country Club and Blackhawk Area Council of Boy Scouts of America. Served as board member for Carpenter’s Place.

Dennis married Betty Ray Gilliland April 19, 1973 and she died December 16, 1980. He married Julia Pesavento on September 6, 1986. He is survived by his wife, Julia; his children, R. Brent, Elizabeth and Mark, all of Rockford and Margaret of Atlanta, GA: his brother, Mike (Cathy) Schaer of Rockford; his mother-in-law, Rita (John) Prunuske of Rockford; his brothers-in- law and sisters-in-law, Becky (Larry) Chance of Rockton, Jim Gilliland of Morongo Valley, CA, Greg Pesavento of Elmhurst, IL, Lisa Wiley of Raleigh, NC, Louise (Don) Hinshaw of Richmond, CA, Anthony (Dianna) Pesavento of River Forest, IL, Margaret (Jon) Blanchard of Raleigh, NC, Maria (Mike) Walton of Pleasant Hill, CA, and Art (Beth) Pesavento of Lemont, IL; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Betty Ray, and her parents, Elwin and Helen Gilliland, his sister, Betty Grabow and her husband Hal, his father-in-law, Richard Pesavento, and brothers-in-law Robert Gilliland and Will Wiley.

Dennis was a man of deep faith. He will always be remembered for his generosity, honesty and integrity in both personal and business relationships. He felt a strong sense of loyalty to family and friends and never turned down an opportunity to give back to his community.

Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, August 18, 2018, at the Cathedral of St. Peter, 1243 N. Church St. Rockford, with the Very Reverend Stephen St. Jules officiating. A visitation will be held on Friday, August 17, 2018, from 4:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. at Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory, 3910 N. Rockton Ave, Rockford, and from 10:00 A.M. until time of Mass on Saturday at the church. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Carpenter’s Place or Boy Scout Troop 37, Cathedral of St. Peter. Share online condolences at

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, August 18, 2018

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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