Cover photo for Donald Ray Gerhart's Obituary
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1928 Donald 2023

Donald Ray Gerhart

September 8, 1928 — October 14, 2023

 

Don lived ninety-five years in good health and still lived in his own house without assistance. He passed quickly after one week in the hospital. Don was born in Yucaipa, CA. He had three brothers but lived primarily with his mother, Eddith, in Pacific Beach and Escondido. He joined the Army Air Corps after high school and served from 1947 to 1951. Upon his discharge he married Mary Louise Alberternst who he had met while stationed in Illinois. They moved back to southern California shortly after getting married and moved to La Mesa, CA in 1959 where they raised a family of four boys (Kevin, Keith, Kenny and Kirk). Don lived in that same house until his death in October 2023. Don worked as an electronics technician at his uncle's TV store, later for JC Penney and finally for San Diego City Schools until his retirement in 1993. Don and Mary enjoyed their retirement years and traveled a lot, mainly to Laughlin, Nevada and to Hawaii.

Mary had Alzheimer's disease for the final ten years of her life and Don lovingly cared for her at home for many years, without a complaint and with more patience than could be imagined. Don was also a wonderful father to his sons. He worked six days a week for many years but always found time for his boys' Little League games, to play golf with them, repair their cars or anything else they needed. He reveled in his sons' success in life. He had nine grandchildren and loved gatherings with the whole family.

In his last several years Don had a special friendship with Anona. They went on many trips together and enjoyed spending time together. Anona gave Don a will to live longer and better than he might have without her companionship.

Don was nearly always in a good mood and enjoyed his life to the fullest. His strength was his ability to appreciate the life that he had without focusing on what he didn't have. Don was loved by his family and friends and will be missed greatly.

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