NEW BERN | David Jenkins Gerhardt, 100, Nov. 22, 1913 – June 11, 2014, died peacefully in his sleep at Homeplace of New Bern, N.C. Prior to moving to Homeplace, he had been a resident of McCarthy Court for the past five years. He was born in Sparrows Point, Md., the son of Reginald B. (Martinsburg, W.Va.) and Kathryn Miller (Harrisburg, Pa.) Gerhardt. He attended Friends School in Baltimore before moving with his family to Steelton, Pa., where he attended the Harrisburg Academy and graduated in the Class of 1933 from Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pa. While in Harrisburg, he met the love of his life, Eliza (Lida) Waugh Fox, whom he married on Sept. 14, 1940. He graduated from Lafayette College (Easton, Pa.) in 1937 with an engineering degree. He was a member of Zeta Psi Fraternity, played guard on the 150 pound football team, and in his senior year, captained the wrestling team, for which he was conference weight champion in both his junior and senior years. While in college he worked every summer for the Bethlehem Steel Co., and then was hired into the Loop program, and began a career of 41 years, mostly in the Galvanizing Division, where he became a recognized authority. In 1946, the family moved to Cloverhill Road, in Baltimore, Md., where he and Lida resided for 63 years, until their move to New Bern. They lived on Cloverhill, developed in 1922, longer than any other resident, ever.
The Gerhardts were all active members of Second Presbyterian Church, where David served as a regular usher and elder for many years. He was a member of the Sparrows Point Country Club, where he was very happy to break 100 on the golf course, and of the L'Hirondelle Club in Ruxton, where he loved to take Lida dancing and the whole family to dinner.
After retirement he became an active bird hunter with his dogs, Vite and JJ, and an avid trout fisherman. His favorite haunts were the Gunpowder River outside Baltimore and the Boardman River in Traverse City, Mich., his son John's family's home for 35 years, Spruce Creek and the Yellow Breeches in Pa. He was a member of Backwater Anglers, and on December 28, 1994, at the age of 81, appeared in a half page, front page photograph in The Baltimore Sun, fishing the Gunpowder. He received phone calls asking advice from all up and down the East Coast, but he only laughed and said he'd lost many more than he'd ever caught.
David loved God and family above all else, and will be remembered by many as dedicated, loyal, kind, honest, humble, loving, and generous (he always picked up the check). He declined many promotion opportunities in order to keep his family in Baltimore. Climbing the corporate ladder was never a priority. He is survived by Lida, his wife of almost 74 years; two children, John (Ann) of Bath, Mich., and Liza (Robert) of New Bern, who loved, cared for, and made Dad happy for the past five years; two grandsons, David (Jinny) of Chicago and Mo of Bath, in whom he had such great pride; and two great grandchildren, Kellen and Nari. Undoubtedly, his last great joy was becoming a great-grandfather. There are also many nieces and nephews, the children of his deceased brothers, Reg, John, and Jim.
David had been in poor health for the past six months, and God granted him his last wish by calling him home. We all miss him dearly, and celebrate 100 years lived as God intended.
A memorial service at 1325 McCarthy Blvd. in New Bern will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday June 27. Interment will be at the Fox family grave site in Hummelstown, Pa., followed by a memorial service in Baltimore. Dates will be made available when plans have been made.