CAPT. Jon Jared Gershon (1937 - 2014)

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CAPT. Jon Jared Gershon

Virginia Beach - On April 24, 2014, Captain Jon "Jary" Gershon, USN, Ret., weighed anchor for his final voyage home to God. A fourth generation Californian, Jary was born November 7, 1937 in San Pedro to David L. and Evelyn "Scotty" Gershon. He met his loving wife and first mate, Ethel, at Cal State Long Beach and married in 1959. Commissioned a naval officer in 1960, Jary and Ethel embarked on a Navy career spanning over 30 years, raising their three children in ports all over the world.

A true officer of the line, Jary loved life as a servant leader. Among his many billets, he was most proud of skippering the USS ANTELOPE, PG-86, on its maiden voyage (1967-1969) and commanding the crew of destroyer escort USS REASONER, FF-1063, from1978 to 1980. His shipmates remember him as a captain and a friend, serving alongside in work and life: "A steamer, ashore and afloat." Throughout his life, Jary had a passion for creating and maintaining beautiful things. Upon retirement he turned his sights to founding Waterscapes, a landscape design company, where he worked alongside his crew again to create unique waterfalls, fishponds and lawns. A friend of Bill W. for more than 30 of his final years, he gratefully shared himself and his time in a fervent effort to help others. He shared his life and positive attitude in numerous volunteer projects. With a smile on his face, Jary cared for patients at Virginia Beach General Hospital, educated all ages on marine life as a docent at the Virginia Aquarium, and even adopted a section of his street to keep shipshape.

Ever an optimist, Jary lived life with determination, receiving many a Second Wind. Through lung cancer, heart disease and other obstacles, he remained at the helm. When God granted the opportunity of a miracle, Jary was bound and determined to make it make it happen.

Among those who remain to love and cherish Jary's memory are: Ethel, his wife of 54 years; children, Patrick (wife Emi), Laura Boeding, and Christina Burchett (husband Rod); grandchildren, Thomas, Rachel, Elijah and Ryan; and his sister Tamara Caponetto (husband Victor, son Joseph). His parents and his nephew, Jary, predeceased him.

A celebration of Jary's life will be held at 1300 hrs. (1 p.m.) Saturday, May 3 at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., 2002 Laskin Rd. Virginia Beach. Island attire is suggested. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the , or better yet, honor Jary's memory by going for a long walk on the beach and clean up along the way. Online condolences may be made at hdoliver.com.

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Published in The Virginian Pilot on Apr. 30, 2014
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