Gerard E. Pepper, 96, of Honesdale died Thursday, April 11, 2013 at the Ellen Memorial Nursing Center, Honesdale.
He was the son of the late William James and Louisa Stephens Pepper. Born on February 23, 1917 at Laurella, PA, Berlin Township, he attended the Berlin Valley School and Torrey School.
Gerard had an eighth grade education and was a graduate of the Wayne Commercial School.
He spent summers at Hicks, Brunning - Rieflers, O'Connell farms milking and haying, Rutledge's Garage and the Hat Factory, White Mills, prior to going into retail sales.
Before 1942 he went to work for Dean Phipps in both Scranton and Honesdale. In 1942, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served until 1945.
During the war, his unit was A Battery, 9th Field Artillery BN, 3rd Infantry Division.
He was a recipient of the Purple Heart
; at the completion of his service, he was honorably discharged with the rank of Corporal.
After the war he went into business for himself and purchased a Western Auto franchise, Honesdale until he retired in 1979 at the age of 62.
His brother, Olin was a partner with him in the store.
After retirement, he enjoyed meeting his many friends for breakfast at all the restaurants around Honesdale, then he would take his daily walk all around Honesdale.
Gerard was married 49 years to Ruth D. Pepper; the couple was married in 1963 in Honesdale. She preceded him in death on October 16, 2012.
He is survived by a son, Rev. Dale Pepper and wife Carolyn of Lake Ariel, a stepdaughter, Susan Knickerbocker and husband George of Honesdale, a stepson Dennis Mulally and wife Danielle, Sinking Springs, a sister, Alberta Orth of Smith Hill and two sister-in-laws, Charlotte Freiermuth, Kenilworth, NJ and Nancy Case, Ulster, PA; 7 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Vera Case Pepper who died in 1960 at the age of 42, a stepdaughter, Linda Altemier, sisters, Olga Swartz, Mary Glosenger, Esther Lautenschlager, brothers, Edson, Robert, and Olin, and a brother-in-law, Charles Case.
Gerard was a member of the Central United Methodist Church, Honesdale.
Ruth and he were advisors to the Central United Methodist Youth Fellowship in the 1970's and 80's. They enjoyed going to the annual youth retreat at Asbury Park, NJ. His son, Dale and himself enjoyed attending the Annual United Methodist Convocation to both Buck Hill Falls and Pocono Manor for several years. He was also the lay delegate to the Wyoming Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church for plenty of years.
After retirement, Gerard and Ruth enjoyed being "snowbirds" to many locations in Florida and Myrtle Beach, SC. He was a lifetime member of the Odd Fellow Lodge, Honesdale and a lifetime member of the VFW
Post 531, Honesdale.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, April 15, 2013 at 11 a.m. in the Central United Methodist Church, Church and 11th Streets, Honesdale with Rev. Robert Kazinski officiating.
Friends may visit the Arthur A. Bryant Funeral Home, 1228 Main Street, Honesdale on Sunday, April 14, 2013 from 4-7 p.m.
The family would like to thank Ellen Memorial Nursing Center staff for their gracious, loving and compassionate care of Gerard in the 2+ years he was a resident there.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Central United Methodist Church, Honesdale, PA 18431.