Gerhard “Gary” Niefnecker, 82, of Elgin, passed away peacefully on April 28, 2020 at The Vines Senior Homes in Elgin.

Gary was born on January 10, 1938 in Frankfurt, Germany. At the age of 17, he immigrated to America to live “The American Dream.” He achieved that dream when he founded Gee-N-Jays in Elgin, where he enjoyed serving generations for nearly 30 years with a big smile and kind words.

Gary enjoyed spending time with his family, friends, and his fellow residents and staff at The Vines.

He is preceded in death by his loving wife, Renate, parents Johann and Sabine, brothers Hans and Reinholt, and son-in-law Miles Ackmann.

He is survived by his daughter Marina Ackmann; son John (Diane) Vosilla; grandchildren Michelle Ackmann, Mark Ackmann, Michael (Kim) Ackmann, and Dayna Vosilla; and two great-grandchildren, Mason and Lincoln Ackmann.

Gary was a kind and gentle man who will be greatly missed by many. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to your local food pantry or charity helping those struggling in our community.

Due to current circumstances, burial will be private at Bluff City Cemetery.

Final arrangements entrusted to Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park St, Elgin IL 60120. Questions call 847-741-1128 or visit

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