Norbert A. Gerdeman, age 88, of Swanton, Ohio, entered into eternal peace, Monday afternoon, January 16, 2017, at St. Luke's Hospital. He was born May 25, 1928 in Lorain, Ohio to Alexander and Caroline (Maag) Gerdeman.
Besides his loving and devoted wife of 61 years, Rosann, Norbert was welcomed into Heaven by his parents and first born son, Terry George Gerdeman.
He is survived by his children, William Gerdeman, Cynthia Brick, Rosann M. Gerdeman, Jane (Dan) Eller, Barbara (Bill) Gasche, Susan (Doug) Etchison, Paula (Tom) Sampson, Denise (Keith) Greene, John (Jill) Gerdeman, and David (Melanie) Gerdeman; 23 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; as well as his three sisters, Audrey (Bob) Sack, Jane (Jim) Bartholomew and Jean (Ranieri, dec.) Rochi.
Norbert was enlisted in the United States Army from 1950-1952, during the Korean War. He served in theater as a yard master marshaling supplies and men to and from the not too distant action. He loved to tell stories from his war days and they remained vivid to him decades later.
He only attended up to the 8th grade in his little country school but he was a very educated man. All self-taught, he had an ability to retain whatever he read. This ability served him well in his career to master all the railroad training manuals. He would complain if he ever got a question wrong on the annual exams. Norbert had a long career of 41 years spanning many railroads; the Pennsylvania RR, the Penn Central RR and finally Conrail. Various positions and promotions kept his family moving from Chicago, IL to New Castle, PA and many points in between. The family settled in Swanton in 1970.
He loved his family vacation time though and reserved plenty of summer to spend time with his family, usually on the water at Higgin’s Lake, MI. Norbert loved the water and would spend countless days driving for anyone and everyone to have a chance to ski. He and Rosann loved to lay out on the boat and just sun bath for hours. This love of the water transferred over to his kids, many of whom still vacation on or near water almost exclusively.
After retirement, he surprised everyone by developing a talent for painting. While Rosann taught line dancing classes at their park in Florida, he would take painting classes and produced many fine pieces. While in Florida he also became more close to his faith by joining the Knights of Columbus. Through his faith he attained the rank of Fourth Degree in the Knights. As an active member of the Father Michael Leap Assembly in Port Richey, Florida he did many charitable works.
Family and friends may visit Saturday, January 21st from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Weigel Funeral Home, 204 Chestnut St. in Swanton (419.826.2631), where the prayers will begin at 1:30 p.m. A Mass of Resurrection will follow at St. Richard Catholic Church at 2:00 p.m. Interment will be held at a later date at the Western Reserve National Cemetery in Wadsworth, OH.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Richard Church - St. Vincent DePaul Society.
Residence: Swanton, Ohio
Visitation: Saturday, January 21st from 11:00 am until 1:30 pm at the Weigel Funeral Home in Swanton
Mass of Resurrection: Saturday, January 21st at 2:00 pm at St. Richard Catholic Church
Interment at a later date: Western Reserve National Cemetery