Edgar "Ed" Lewis |
Gerhardt, III, of Houston, Texas passed away on November 28, 2012. He was born on November 23, 1940, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to parents Edgar Lewis Gerhardt, Jr. and Frances McClain Gerhardt. Ed grew up in Breckenridge, Texas.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ed and Frances Gerhardt, brother James Gerhardt and some wonderful hunting dogs. Ed is survived by his wife of thirty-five years, Nancy Taylor Gerhardt of Houston, Texas; three daughters, Lisa Sikora and her husband Dave of Austin, Texas, Maggie Miller and her husband Chuck of Livingston, Texas, and Holly Smith and her husband Stephen of Marietta, Georgia; eight grandchildren, Elizabeth, Madeline and Olivia Sikora, Charles and Courtney Miller, Tripp, Cooper and Hayden Smith; sister Mollie Ruth Gerhardt; beloved hunting dogs, Allie and Pato.
Ed lived a full life with a broad diversity of interests. Though his 72 years was too short, he filled it with many, many great adventures including service to his country as a Naval Officer in Vietnam from 1965 to 1970. He was an aviator, sailor, kayaker, golfer, hunter, fisherman, teacher, volunteer, lover of dogs and the great outdoors. Ed graduated from the University of Texas in 1962 and proudly cheered on his Longhorns for the rest of his life! Following an active career in the Health Care industry for 25 years, he managed numerous entrepreneurial ventures through the Galveston Bay Company for the next twenty years. He and Nancy married in 1977 and spent an early year of their marriage living aboard a sailboat.
In 2004 Ed tried to retire but this was short lived. He became the Regional Director for Angel Flight SC, a non-profit organization that provides free air transportation, and established operations into Hobby Airport to support the many people flying into Houston for care at M.D. Anderson Hospital. In 2006, he established Junior Anglers and Hunters of America (Jr. AHA) and served as the Executive Director until his death. Jr.AHA used popular outdoor activities like fishing, archery and hunting to connect children to nature for a lifetime. Through Ed's leadership of Jr.AHA, over 5000 children were taught to fish. He established partnerships with Houston ISD, the Texas Parks and Wildlife, the Houston Parks and Recreation Dept., and several corporations to, as he stated, "get our youth outdoors not just for an event, but for a lifetime of outdoor experiences - fostering the stewardship of our nations resources."
A Memorial Service to celebrate his life and his contributions to outdoor education for children will be held on Saturday, December 15 at 11 am at Brazos Bend State Park in Needville, Texas. Please refer to www.tpwd.state.us/state-parks/brazos-bend/map for a map and directions.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ed Gerhardt Memorial Fish Fund at Cadence Bank, c/o Yolanda Villatoro, 3754 Westheimer, Houston, Texas 77027. Contributions will ensure that the many Houston children Ed shared the Texas State Parks with will always find a fish on their hook!
Published in Houston Chronicle on Dec. 9, 2012