Dr. Robert J. Gedert
Catawba Island - Dr. Robert J. Gedert, of Catawba Island Township and formerly of Fremont, died Jan. 13th at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, after a brief illness. He was 91.
He was born April 12, 1926, in Toledo, Ohio, to Dr. John and Josephine (Mercurio) Gedert. He grew up in Clyde, Ohio, and graduated from Clyde High School in 1944.
Robert was drafted into the U.S. Army right out of high school, and served as a staff sergeant during World War II, helping to build airstrips for U.S. military aircraft in Okinawa and the Philippines. He was a charter member of the National World War II Museum.
When he returned from service after the war in October 1946, Dr. Gedert attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, and obtained a degree in pre-med. He earned his medical degree at medical school at Georgetown University.
Dr. Gedert returned to his roots and joined his brother, John, in a family practice in Clyde. Feeling restless and unfulfilled, he returned to the field to gain experience as a surgeon.
He completed his general surgical residency at Mercy Hospital in Toledo, and also completed residency programs at Memorial Hospital in Fremont and Sloan Kettering in New York City. Dr. Gedert met the love of his life, a young nurse named Maureen Rahilly, during his Mercy residency. "Buz and Buzzy" married May 9, 1959, at Rosary Cathedral in Toledo, and were together almost 60 years upon his death.
In 1964, the couple returned to Northwest Ohio to raise their family, and Dr. Gedert began his storied career as a surgeon at Memorial Hospital in Fremont. Dr. Gedert was known for his excellent surgical skills while exuding a compassionate bedside manner. He performed hundreds of operations on residents of the community, and was proud that he never lost anyone on the operating table in his time of service.
Dr. Gedert served more than four decades as a general surgeon on the medical staff at Memorial Hospital. He was appointed Memorial chief of staff in 1985, and served as vice chief of staff in 1972, 1977 and 1984. He also served as secretary treasurer and member at large of the hospital's Medical Executive Committee over the years. He served several terms as chair of the surgery department.
He retired Feb. 1, 2000.
Dr. Gedert was an avid golfer who enjoyed annual golf trips with his friends. He shot two holes-in-one during his golfing career, one in 2004 at The Natural golf course in Gaylord, Mich., and the second on April 15, 2005 at the Fremont Country Club. He was thrilled to meet Tom Watson at a golf course in Columbus, and always regretted not introducing himself to Arnold Palmer when he saw him on a golf course a year later.
Robert enjoyed family, politics, military history, his family pets, woodworking, making wood & paper military aircraft with his grandson, and Notre Dame football. He loved everything about living on Lake Erie, including boating, fishing, swimming and watching the sunsets from his deck. He was a longtime, savvy investor in the stock market.
He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Marblehead.
Surviving are his wife, Maureen Gedert of Catawba; son, Paul Gedert (Saloa) of Boca Raton, Fla.; daughters Roberta Gedert Redfern (Eric), and Beth Gedert (Brian), both of Port Clinton; grandsons Aidan Meister and Nicholas Rendon; and numerous other family members and friends.
He was preceded in death by his son, Daniel J. Gedert; his parents; and brothers, Dr. John Gedert and Richard Gedert.
Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 19, at Keller-Koch-Chudzinski Funeral Home, 416 S. Arch St., Fremont. A funeral mass will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 22, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 822 Barclay St., Marblehead.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio or the Ottawa County Humane Society.
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Published by News Herald & News-Messenger on Jan. 17, 2018.