|Elmer Arnold Gerdeman|
|Tuesday, January 14, 2014 9:29 PM|
May 23, 1922
Jan. 10, 2014
He was born May 23, 1922, in Van Wert County, west of Delphos, to Alfred Joseph and Clara Leona (Reindl) Gerdemann.
On July 1, 1943, he married Ida Mae Isabel Murray of Fort Wayne, Ind., who preceded him in death on May 16, 2008, less than two months before their 65th anniversary.
He was also predeceased by a son, Donald Gerdeman, and a brother, Irvin Gerdemann.
Elmer is survived by two daughters, Karen Dudley of St. Paul, Minn., and Judith Kochs of Columbus; a son, Robert (Beverly) Gerdeman of Anacortes, Wash.; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, Matt (Vickie) Dudley, Lizzie and Julia; Dave (Melissa) Dudley, Will and Nora; Analise Gerdeman, Erika (Brad) Deweese, Mauria Gerdeman, Diedre Gerdeman and Austin Kochs; a sister, Lois (Kenneth) Blankemeyer; three brothers, Don Gerdeman, Herb (Clarann) Gerdeman and Rich (Mary Lou) Gerdeman, all of Delphos; a sister-in-law, Carlene Gerdemann of Delphos; and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his Navy buddy and life-long friend, Sam Grey of Port Huron, Michigan.
Elmer attended Auer School, a one-room schoolhouse, and graduated from Jefferson High School in 1940, where “Iron Man” lettered in football and was awarded an honorable mention in the state for his performance in that sport.
He joined the US Navy on March 20, 1943. While on leave following boot-training and before Machinists School at Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Illinois, Elmer married his sweetheart, Ida Mae. With his promotion to the rank of Watertender, he served in charge of the boiler rooms on the tank landing ship USS LST-656 and on the destroyer USS Fletcher DD-445.
After the war, Elmer returned to civilian life and his bride and began studies in electrical engineering at Tri-State College (now re-named Trine University) in Angola, Ind.
Following his college graduation in 1948, he was hired by National Cash Register in Dayton, where he worked until he accepted employment at ITT Corporation in Fort Wayne in 1956.
In 1961, Elmer and his family moved to the Columbus area, where he worked in aerospace engineering at North American Aviation (which later became Rockwell International and is now part of Boeing).
He accepted an offer in 1971 to manage the Columbus branch of Dayton Scientific, Inc., a computer systems design and engineering company. He directed the company’s operations in Columbus and at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton until his retirement in 1992.
A member of Knights of Columbus Council 5253, the Ohio LST/Amphibs Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Inventor’s Council (for holding or contributing to several patents), and an avid reader and tinkerer, Elmer still lived in Columbus, although his heart remained in Delphos.
Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Delphos, the Rev. Chris Bohnsack officiating. Delphos Veterans Council will conduct military rites following the Mass at the church. Burial will follow in Resurrection Cemetery east of Delphos.
Visitation will be from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Friday at Strayer Funeral Home, 1840 E. Fifth St., Delphos, where a K of C Service will be held at 7:15 p.m. followed by a Parish Wake Service at 7:30 p.m. Visitation will also be offered one hour prior to the service on Saturday.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Elmer’s favorite causes: he was an enthusiastic advocate of organ donation (information at www.organdonor.gov) and of blood and platelet donations to the American Red Cross; he also supported Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital (www.stjude.org) and the Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org). Online condolences may be shared at www.strayerfuneralhome.com.