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ELMER ARNOLD GERDEMAN

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ELMER ARNOLD GERDEMAN, 91, of Columbus, Ohio, formerly of Delphos, Ohio, passed Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, at his home surrounded by his loving family. Born May 23, 1922, in Van Wert County, west of Delphos, he was a son of Alfred Joseph and Clara Leona (Reindl) Gerdemann. On July 1, 1943, he married Ida Mae Isabel Murray of Fort Wayne; she preceded him in death on May 16, 2008, less than two months before their 65th anniversary. Elmer attended Auer School, a one-room schoolhouse, and graduated from Delphos 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 U.S. 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 U.S.S. LST-656 and on the destroyer U.S.S. 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, Ohio, where he worked until he accepted employment at ITT Corporation, Fort Wayne, in 1956. In 1961, Elmer and his family moved to the Columbus, Ohio 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. He was 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 was an avid reader and tinkerer. Elmer still lived in Columbus, although his heart remained in Delphos. 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, Mich. He was also preceded in death by a son, Donald Gerdeman; and a brother, Irvin Gerdemann. Mass of Christian Burial is 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Delphos, with visitation one hour prior. The Rev. Chris Bohnsack officiating. Delphos Veterans Council will conduct military rites following the mass at the church. Visitation also from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, 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. 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; of blood and platelet donations to the American Red Cross; and he also supported www.stjude.org. and the Wounded Warrior Project www.woundedwarriorproject.org. Online condolences may be shared at www.strayerfuneral home.com
Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on Jan. 15, 2014
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Strayer Funeral Home
1840 E 5Th St Delphos, OH 45833
(419) 695-0033
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