Marvin Cook
B: 1937-05-03
D: 2019-12-04
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B: 1932-04-13
D: 2019-11-27
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D: 2019-11-27
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B: 1947-04-26
D: 2019-11-27
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D: 2019-11-27
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John Maschmeyer
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D: 2019-11-27
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D: 2019-11-27
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D: 2019-11-26
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Bartholomew Holohan
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Robert Kraeger
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D: 2019-11-26
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Russell Green
B: 1957-07-26
D: 2019-11-25
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Nancy Hawkins
B: 1936-06-07
D: 2019-11-24
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D: 2019-11-24
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D: 2019-11-24
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Nancy Moticka
B: 1956-11-28
D: 2019-11-23
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Robert Wurdack
B: 1926-01-05
D: 2019-11-20
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Harry Fisher
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D: 2019-11-19
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Fisher, Harry


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10610 Manchester Road
Kirkwood, MO 63122-1308
Phone: 314-965-7680

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Willard Gerding
In Memory of
Willard Elmer
1925 - 2019
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Obituary for Willard Elmer Gerding

Willard Elmer  Gerding
Willard E. Gerding, life-long resident of St. Louis, MO, passed away peacefully on November 9, 2019 at the age of 93. A private ceremony, arranged through Bopp Chapel, will be held in Willard’s honor at Memorial Park Cemetery on November 18th, 2019.

Beloved husband of the late Mary Gerding (nee Gibson); loving father of Christine (Steve) Larkins, Charles (Sarah) Gerding, Laura (Jeffrey) Westhoff, John (Connie) Gerding and the late Leslie (James) Gerding-Smith; cherished grandfather of Paul (Joyce) Larkins, Sarah (Kyle) Urda; Willard, Mary, and Thomas Gerding; Anne, Jesse, and Lucas Westhoff; Olivia, Dylan, and Sawyer Gerding; loving great-grandfather of Alice Gerding; dear uncle, cousin, and friend to many.

“Bill” as he was known to family or “Will” as he was referred to by many friends, was the consummate father, husband, brother-in-law, uncle, grandfather, great grandfather, and friend. Dedicated, loyal, and steadfast, his descriptive menagerie includes Rough Rider, Tiger, and Pachyderm.

Born on November 24, 1925 it was probably no coincidence that the St. Louis Cardinals won their first World Series Championship the following summer. A passionate sports fanatic, Willard would go on to witness ten additional World Series Champions, a Super Bowl Champion football team, and a Stanley Cup Champion in 2019.

Raised in a flat above his father’s pharmacy at the corner of Louisiana and Cherokee Streets on St. Louis’ south side, Willard was imbued with the compassion and generosity that characterized depression era sensibilities. Operating in a simpler, more personal era, his father would often fill prescriptions at no charge for those who could not afford to pay for the medicine themselves. These magnanimous examples set the stage for the unselfish way Willard conducted himself throughout his life.

He graduated from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1949; his tenure at Mizzou sandwiched around conscription into the United States Army on January 25th, 1944. Always modest and reserved, he cared to speak little of his World War II duties, preferring instead to focus on the accomplishments and sacrifices made by others.

Empowered with a Psychology degree from Mizzou, Willard embarked on a triumphant career in the insurance industry that would span parts of six decades. Though he would climb the professional ranks from office clerk to insurance executive, he would state that his greatest achievement during this period was successfully courting the love of his life, Mary Gibson; the woman he would affectionately call “Dove” for nearly 50 years.
A music lover, an Anglophile, whittler of the U.S. Navy…call Willard what you like but he was, above all else, a genuine leader. Whether you were his son, his daughter, or his friend, his effective guidance and support never wavered. He possessed the innate ability to provide you with exactly what you needed at the precise time that it was required. Be it a pragmatic piece of career advice or an amusing anecdote to lift your spirits, he always knew what to do or what to say.

So please, pay homage to the king on the orange swivel rocker throne by occasionally taking an otherwise innocuous statement and turning it into a positive and charming little ditty. This was a practice he had mastered. Sing your song out loud as he would so often do and pay tribute to the man that gave us all so much love. Reflect upon his generous nature, his kind heart, his paternal stewardship and honor him with the largest smile you can muster. Honor him until you embrace once again in the kingdom above.
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