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Gerald W. Probst

Dr. Gerald W. Probst, 86, Indianapolis passed away on Oct. 5, 2008. He was born in Morris on May 4, 1922 to Herbert C. and Bertha (Watzke) Probst.

He graduated cum laude in Chemistry from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul in 1943 and received a M.S. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis in 1950. He joined Eli Lilly and Co. as a biochemist and Senior Scientist in Lilly Research Laboratories where he conducted cancer research. He then served as Department Head of the Insulin Testing Laboratory, and later was Assistant Head of Agricultural Analytical Chemistry. He was promoted to Head of Agricultural Biochemistry with the Elanco Products Division of Eli Lilly at the Greenfield Laboratories. He was next promoted to Director of Regulatory Affairs for the Elanco Products Company, a division of Eli Lilly and Co. where he concluded 35 years of distinguished service with Lilly and retired in 1985.

During his career, Dr. Probst authored and coauthored 33 scientific publications, was awarded five US patents and was a member of the American Chemical Society for over 50 years. He maintained memberships in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The New York Academy of Sciences, and was cited in Who's Who in the Midwest and Notable Americans in the Bicentennial Era. He presented numerous scientific papers at international symposiums. His fields of interest were antibiotics, cancer, host resistance, herbicides, animal growth factors and government regulations.

Dr. Probst was a Navy veteran of WWII and served as a Lieutenant JG aboard the naval destroyer USS Leary (DD-879) in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. He is among those of the "greatest generation" which has made this country great.

He married his high school sweetheart Kathleen Fischer from Glenwood, MN who was a professional figure skater for Shipstads and Johnson Ice Follies during the 1940s. He was a devoted and loving husband. They recently celebrated 62 years of marriage on August 18, 2008. They are the parents of Gregory S. (Karen), Douglas E. and Michael J.(Diane) Probst and Jennifer (John) Connor. They have nine grandchildren Matthew, Kristen, Bradley, Suzanne, David, Kyle and Erik Probst and two adopted granddaughters from China Katelyn and Grace Connor.

Dr. Probst was a man who took great pride in his family. He was a compassionate and loving father who was deeply committed to all his children. He was the happiest when he was surrounded by his family. Family holidays and get togethers were especially important to him. Family vacations to Minnesota created wonderful memories of some of their best times together. His family had great admiration and respect for his integrity, strength of character and sense of personal responsibility. His wisdom and experience were a source of guidance, support and encouragement in any situation. He was deeply loved and will be greatly missed by all.

Dr. Probst was a man of faith and a member of St. Lawrence Church. He was very generous in supporting many charities. He had a great love of music and played both the piano and organ. He was an avid gardener and took pride in his beautiful dahlia flower gardens. He also was an avid tropical fish hobbyist throughout his life.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Lawrence Church on Friday, Oct. 10 with interment following at Our Lady of Peace Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Lawrence Church or your favorite charity.