Gerard (Gerry) F. Kervel, died on Monday, November 12th, of heart failure in Palm Coast, FL. He was 82. A good & honorable man, a loving husband & father. He was a passionate American who was extremely proud to earn his citizenship through his military service. His passing on Veteran's Day is a fitting tribute to his legacy as it is a day that he held in the highest regard. Born in the Netherlands in 1930, his childhood was dramatically shaped by the onset of World War II & the Nazi occupation of his hometown. After Holland's liberation his family left war-torn Europe for an opportunity in Aruba, but at age 19 with a degree in mechanical engineering, Gerry found life on such a small island too confining and emigrated to the U.S. with just a few dollars in his pocket. No sooner was he settled in NYC when Uncle Sam wanted him for the Korean War effort and he was inducted into the Army. He fought for his new country & received his naturalization papers for his service while on his tour of duty. Upon his return to NYC Gerry ultimately landed a position at Ebasco Services (a builder of power plants). His career there spanned 23 years, culminating with him as the head of his department with an office on the 83rd floor of Tower 2 in the World Trade Center. In the mid 90's he left NYC & took a position in the engineering division of the NJ Highway Authority. Upon retirement he & his wife Arlene moved from New Jersey to Palm Coast, FL. Sports were an integral part of his life. He was an accomplished skier and enjoyed sailing, but his greatest love was field hockey, which he played from the age of 7. Gerry proudly represented the U.S. on the Olympic Field Hockey Team in 1964, competing in the Pan American games & was one of the founders of the North Jersey Field Hockey Club. He was also a member of the Privateers Hockey Club and in his later years continued his contribution to the sport by coaching the Westfield New Jersey High School girls field hockey team. After retirement he was a familiar figure on the Grand Haven golf course, having achieved two holes in one. Gerry's daughter Stacy Lynn Kervel passed away in 2004. He is survived by his wife Arlene; sister Anita Pappenheim; son Michael Kervel and daughter-in-law Lauryn; daughter Carolyn Taylor; and grandchildren Jeffrey, Shane, Chelsea, Logan and Dylin. The family requests that any memorial donations be made in his memory to the Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation, 10301 McKinstry Mill Rd., New Windsor, MO 21776, or koreanwarvetsmemorial.org. Arrangements are in the care and trust of the Craig-Flagler Palms Funeral Home in Flagler Beach. Condolences may be sent to www.craigflaglerpalms.com.
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Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on Nov. 18, 2012