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GERHARDT RONALD HAROLD GERHARDT (Age 75) Of Fairfax, Virginia, passed away at his residence on April 17, 2014. Ron was born October 18, 1938, in Irvington, New Jersey, the son of Harold and Dorothy Gerhardt. Ron moved to East Orange, NJ, where he grew up and became an Eagle Scout before graduating from Upsala College in East Orange, NJ, in 1960. While receiving his BA in Economics, Ron won Upsala's most prestigious Ken Dietz Memorial Award in his senior year as the outstanding senior at Upsala. Ron was also President of his Senior Class and President of the Omega Tau Alpha fraternity. After graduation, he married Antoinette Mary Nicastro, whom he met at Upsala, on June 25, 1961. Ron went from Air Force ROTC at Upsala into a full- time career in the Air Force. He served 24 years as a career officer before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Ron began his career as a navigator on B-52 bombers, including time served in the Viet Nam war. While stationed in Bossier City, LA, Ron received a MBA in Business Management from Louisiana Tech University in May, 1975. His final USAF assignment was the Site Activation Task Force Commander for the Air Launch Cruise Missile from 1980-1983 at Griffiths Air Force Base in Rome, NY. He retired from the USAF in 1984 and began his second 19 year career as CEO and president of Capitol-Baum Office Furniture Company in 1985. Ron retired permanently in 2003. Ron had strong passions for everything in life. He was relentless in his support of civic duties, his love for baseball, and his ability to create numerous friendships that stood the test of time. Ron was an active member of many social clubs: Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Burke Lion's Club, the MG club, the Biggy Baseball Fantasy League, and the Northern Virginia Senior Softball league, to name a few. He held office for several years in the Burke Lion's Club and was the self-proclaimed commissioner for life for the Biggy Baseball Fantasy League, a title he admired most. In addition, Ron played golf and poker with friends on a weekly basis. While he loved his antique MG, his time in the USAF and many diverse friendships, his greatest passion was reserved for his wife, Tonie, and their three daughters, Lisa, Kim and Jacquie, and their families. Few men displayed the same level of pride Ron showed for his family. Lt. Col. Ronald Gerhardt will be buried with Full Military Honors at Arlington National Cemetery. The service will begin at the Fort Myers Old Post Chapel on August 27, 2014, at 8:45 a.m. Guests are encouraged to arrive 15 minutes prior to the ceremony. The family will receive guests following the burial at the Fort Myers Officers Club.

Published in The Washington Post on Aug. 24, 2014
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