At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Teen Challenge USA
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Herbert Fritz Gerhard, of Traverse City, went to heaven on December 22nd, 2018. He was born on May 6th, 1930 in Detroit, Michigan. Although he and his family lived in many states, Michigan was always considered home. Herb graduated from Grosse Pointe High School. He attended Albion College but earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lawrence Technical University. Herb is survived by his wife of 64 years, Nancy Gerhard (McMain), his sister Ursula Gardner, his five children, Jeffery, Gregory, Joel, Jon, and Julie, eighteen grandchildren, and nineteen great-grandchildren.
Herb's parents and sister immigrated to America from Germany. They were very active in the German Baptist church and all loved to sing. That love of singing is how he met his wife, Nancy, when her youth group choir performed at his church. Herb and Nancy's faith grew throughout their 64 years together.
Basketball and football were Herb's athletic outlets in high school and college but he did not let that competitive drive stop. He played ice hockey until the age of 72 and was voted rookie of the year at age 64 in the adult hockey league. Herb enjoyed playing alongside two of his sons and daughter. Golf was his passion throughout his life and never lived far from a course.
Herb's career started with Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. He quickly advanced to Executive Vice President of Phillips Industries and then President of Malta Manufacturing in Ohio. Herb was then hired by the Elliott Company after which he spent the remainder of his career as President and CEO of National Mine Service Company in Pennsylvania. Throughout his career, it was his faith that he depended on to guide him. Herb was so much more than just a successful business man. He demonstrated his love for the Lord throughout his life.
Herb and Nancy shared their faith together. Their many years of serving the Lord include taking high school youth groups on canoe trips in the boundary waters of Canada, operating a Christian bookstore and coffeehouse ministry, serving in leadership roles in various churches, mentoring young men, and having Cousins Camp each summer on Duck Lake. More than anything else, he wanted all of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to love and serve the Lord.
Herb will be remembered as a gentle giant who faced every challenge head-on without complaint. He was always ready to lend a helping hand, encouragement, or guidance. As a conservative and practical business leader, earned the respect of his employees and competitors for the way he directed his business and personal life. He is preceded in death by his parents, Gertrude and Fritz Gerhard and grandchildren Michael and Clinton Gerhard.
A celebration of life will be held on Friday, December 28th, 2018 at l:00pm at Life Story Funeral Home, 400 Hammond Road West, Traverse City, Michigan. The family will greet friends starting at noon. Please visit www.lifestorytc.com to sign the guestbook and share your thoughts and memories