GERHART, NELSON S. Oct. 27, 1920 to August 18, 2012 Nelson S. Gerhart died at peace in the early evening of August 18, 2012 at his son's home in Oak Hill, Virginia, where he had resided for one year. Born in 1920 in Slater, Missouri, he was 91 years old. Brother, father, friend, Padre's fan, foreign exchange student host, girls' basketball supporter, scoutmaster, and hero. He is survived by his sister Vera Nadine Bowline of Ozark, Missouri; children and spouses Donald and Tina Gerhart of Oak Hill, Virginia, Robert and Anne Gerhart of San Diego and Dorothy Gerhart and Andy Watson of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; grandchildren Danielle Jones, Eric Gerhart, Ryan Gerhart, and Victoria Gerhart; and great-grandchild-ren Nickolas and Eliza. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 1940 serving in New Zealand, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Hawaii, Marianas Islands and Japan during World War II including the invasion of Iwo Jima with the 5th Marine Division where he was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry. After discharge in 1945, he became a California state park ranger where he helped establish Pismo Beach, Morro Bay and Big Sur State Parks. In 1959 he moved to Santee and worked for many years at North Island Naval Rework Facility from where he eventually retired. Nelson will be buried alongside his beloved wife, Lucille, at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on September 27, 2012. The family has suggested a donation be made to Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, 875 North Randolph Street, Suite 225, Arlington, VA 22203.
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Published in U-T San Diego on August 26, 2012