The Honorable Alfred Sterling Gerson, 89, passed away on Friday, August 16, 2013. He was born to the late Ben Gerson and Regina Greenberg Gerson on May 3, 1924 in Houston, Texas. He married Pet in 1974, the love of his life for the last thirty-nine years. Al briefly lived in Beaumont as a child where he attended Averill Elementary for short time before his parents returned to Houston. Al graduated from San Jacinto High School in 1942. Al enlisted in the United States Army on December 7, 1942, one year after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was assigned to duty in the Pacific Theater where he saw combat in the Second Battle of Guam in July and August of 1944, wherein the United States captured the Island of Guam. For a time after the war, Al served in the Merchant Marines and went on to serve for over thirty years in the Texas National Guard, retiring in 2002 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After the war, Al moved to Texas City where his parents operated a restaurant. In April 1947, Al's father was killed in the Texas City Explosion and his mother seriously injured. Al participated tirelessly in the recovery efforts surrounding that tragic event. Al persevered, receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Houston and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the South Texas College of Law in Houston. He soon made his way back to Beaumont, practicing law there for thirty-one years. On October 14, 1984, Al was appointed as Judge of County Court at Law #1 in Jefferson County Texas, serving twenty-seven years until his retirement in 2011. Al was well respected by his peers and was awarded the Blackstone Award in 2006 by the Jefferson County Bar Association. Al's favorite pastimes were sports, hunting, and various outdoor activities. Al is survived by his wife Pet Gerson, stepdaughter Jan Rothenberger and her husband Gary, of Beaumont, and stepson Jay Jennings and his wife Tina of Port Neches. He is also survived by his three grandchildren, Kristina Jennings of Fort Worth, Reagan Rothenberger of Dallas, and Jessica Jennings of Port Neches and nephew Gregory Simpson of Houston. Al was predeceased by his sister, Arlene Ditty Davenport. Serving as honorary pallbearers are Richard Brooks, Bob Davenport, Woody Dryden, Judge Gerald Eddins, Gordon Pate, Mike Ramsey, Walter Umphrey, John Violette, King Westbrook, Bob Wortham, and Bill Yoes. The family would like to thank Texas Home Health and Hospice for their kindness and loving care. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Beaumont Humane Society, PO Box 1629, Beaumont, TX, 77704, or the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS, 66675. Visitation will be held from 3PM to 6PM on Monday, August 19, 2013 at Forest Lawn Funeral Home in Beaumont followed by a Memorial Service at 6:00 PM, also at Forest Lawn.
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Published in The Beaumont Enterprise from Aug. 17 to Aug. 18, 2013