Julia "Judy" Gerhard
3/16/1937 - 4/6/2013
Julia O'Brien was born in Detroit, Michigan. Her family, including seven other siblings, moved to Southern California when Judy was still young. As a child, she fell in love with horses and convinced her parents to get her first horse when she was 13. Later, Judy started a ranch with her parents, while she earned her college degree and then became an elementary school teacher
. During this time, she met and married Joseph Gerhard. The two moved to Northern California to the small town of Meadow Vista where they raised their four children. Judy taught school part-time while they ran their horse ranch. By combining her talent for teaching and her passion for horses, she was able to help countless numbers of people learn to ride and enjoy horses. She had a profound influence on her students that went beyond learning about horses, and also helped them to be better people as well.
Judy was an inspiration, a teacher and a friend to many. She had an open ear and open heart and that made it easy for so many people to get to know her and love her as a member of their family.
Judy also devoted her life to church and God and has been a dedicated parishioner of St. Josephs / St. Teresa Church for over 40 years.
During the last few years Judy fell in love with a program that spoke to three of her loves; teaching, horses and helping others. She worked with a non-profit called "Horses for Healing"; introducing children with disabilities to the world of horses. She helped prove that horses have an amazing power to heal.
Judy is survived by her husband Joe, and four children: Raymond, Marlena, Alysia and Andrew, her grandchildren: Holly, Kaci, Hayden and Logan, her sisters: Kathleen, Joanne, and Dolores and her brother Bill, along with a daughter in law, Corey and son in law David.
Please Join us in celebrating Judy's life. A service will be held on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at St. Teresa of Avila Parish at 4 p.m. - with a reception afterwards in the auditorium. St. Teresa of Avila Parish, 11600 Atwood Road, Auburn, CA. 95603.
We would like to help continue to keep her passion alive by asking that in lieu of flower, to donate funds to: Horses for Healing, PO BOX 1136, Meadow Vista, CA. 95722. Or if you wish to help the family with funeral expenses you may send a check to: Joe Gerhard, c/o Judy Gerhard Memorial Fund, PO BOX 232442, San Diego, CA. 92123.