Elmer (Cisco) Gerardo entered in to rest September 6, 2013 at the age of 94. Elmer was born Erminio Girardot in the community of San Pablo, Colorado on February 27, 1919 in Las Animas County. Elmer was the oldest son of Andres Gerardo and Raquel Duran Gerardo, the maternal grandson of Jose Ignacio Duran and Maria De La Paz Vigil and paternal grandson of Julius Girardot and Guadalupe Romero.
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Mr. Gerardo's family were early settlers of the Southbank of Rio De Las Animas in Southern Colorado which is located west of Trinidad. Elmer spent his early years in Torres, Tercio and Vigil known today as Stonewall, Colorado where his family has lived for over 250 years in El Valle de San Francisco.
Elmer served in the U. S. Army during WWII from 1942 - 1945 as an MP guarding German prisoners of war in Louisiana and Mississippi. On November 19, 1945 he was married to Mary Patrick in Raton, New Mexico.They lived in Weston, CO where Elmer worked as a "propero" for the CF&I Corporation until 1953 when they closed the Weston Sawmill. Elmer decided to move to Colorado Springs from Weston based on the work he had done in the Monument area in the 1930's working for the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps).
After the sawmill closed in Weston, Elmer and family moved to Colorado Springs where he worked for Harris's Auto Wrecking until 1958. At the time Elmer moved to Colorado Springs there was a television show which was popular called the "Cisco Kid". There was a major snow storm in Colorado Springs and The Free Press Newspaper photographer took a picture of Elmer clearing snow in downtown Colorado Springs , and thus he was given the nickname Cisco by the Free Press Reporter and Photographer a name he used to his death.
When the U.S. Air Force Academy first opened in Colorado Springs in 1958, Elmer went to work there starting in roads and grounds, then the dining hall and eventually Base Supply. Elmer "Cisco's" career paralleled the development and history of the Air Force Academy. He witnessed every cadet class graduation until his retirement including the very first graduation in 1959 when a small class of 300 cadets graduated. He witnessed the building of the AFA Chapel, Falcon Football Stadium, Dormitories and academic buildings, the entry of women cadets in 1976 and the first women graduates in 1980. During his twenty five year career at the Academy the last twenty two as a fork-lift operator in base supply, Cisco received three Sustained Superior Performance awards, three suggestion program awards and numerous letters of appreciation and commendation. Cisco retired on December 31, 1983.
Elmer was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years Mary Patrick Gerardo on January 15, 2004. They were more than a couple they were partners in life. They fished, camped and hunted together throughout Colorado. They also travelled throughout the United States from Hawaii to Florida and points in between.
Elmer was the oldest in a family of eleven. He is survived by two brothers Luis (Annie) and Roger Gerardo of Colorado Springs and one sister Sally Melvin of Florida. Mr. Gerardo was preceded in death by brothers, Medejildo (Joe), Emiliano, Andres, Gilbert, Paul Gerardo and two sisters Lupe Chavez and Teresa Bowman.
Survivors also include a son, Donald Gerardo and a daughter, Bernadette Horchner both of Colorado Springs, two grand children Warren Horchner of Colorado Springs and Raquel Horchner Terry of Edwards, Missouri, a grand daughter-in-law, Carrie Horchner of Little Rock, Arkansas, seven great-grandchildren: Jesse Horchner, Jacqulyn Horchner both of Little Rock, Arkansas and Ashley, Heather, Amy, Brooke and Hailey Terry of Missouri.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:30 A.M. on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at Sacred Heart Church, 2030 W. Colorado Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO. Interment will be privately held at Ft. Logan National Cemetery on a subsequent date.
Published in The Gazette on Sept. 11, 2013