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8/30/09

Death of a Classmate - John M. (Jack) Gerding 5th Co


John M. (Jack) Gerding of Satellite Beach, Florida, formerly of Chesaning, Michigan, died August 27, 2009. He was 78 years old. Upon graduation from the USNA in June 1954, he joined the USAF. After earning his wings, he was assigned to the Strategic Air command in Abilene Texas for combat crew training. He achieved a lead crew position as a co- pilot and assigned to the Standboard group. He re signed his commission for health reasons in 1959. Jack joined the Pan American Airways, Guided Missle Range Division, Patrick Air Force Base in July 1959. He worked in Operations Support. In 1961 he joined Martin Company as a Test Conductor on the Gemini program. One final move came in 1963 when he joined NASA/KSC at Kennedy Space Center. He worked in Test Operations at varied positions. Jack was awarded NASAs Exceptional Service Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Apollo Program. He retired in 1983. After retirement Jack spent time at his favorite pastimes hunting, fishing and woodworking. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Catherine Billings Gerding; sons, John Matthew Jr., wife Nancy and children John Matthew III, Jacqueline, Andrew and Warren; William Lewis, wife Laurie and daughter Jillian; Joseph Edward, wife Melinda and daughter Kathleen; Michael Francis, wife Cindy and children Dylan and Megan; and daughter, Elizabeth Carlisle,husband Stanley and her sons T.J. and Jim my Anderson. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church on Monday, August 31, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimers Foundation or to the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church Building Fund in Jacks memory. Condolences may be sent to www.beachfuneral home.com

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