Celebration of the Life
Carmen Esther Carruth Gerhard
Von Siofttau Coitne
ST. THOMAS REFORMED CHURCH
Nye & Crystal Gades
The Reverend Martin Weitz
The Rev. Dr. C. Warren Smith
Pastor, St. Ursula's Church
Crut Bay, St. John. V.I.
J. Alwyn Richards
St. Thomas, V.I.
October 1. 1990
Funeral services were held for Mrs. Carmen Carruth Gerhard of Derby, New York
and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, V.I. on September 24, 1990 at the First Church of
Evans, Derby, N.Y. Interment was in the church's cemetery next to her beloved
husband Robert Ambrose Gerhard, II, M/Sgt. USMC. He died on April 27, 1956 while
on aerial maneuvers over the Majave Desert, Calif. The services were conducted by her
grandson-in-law, the Rev. Brian Jones, Pastor at the Westminister United Methodist
Church, Westminister, Ohio.
A St. Thomas native, Carmen was born on February 26, 1920 to Charles Harry &
Alice Indiana Vance Carruth. She grew up at the family home Trompeter Gade No. 2
- and received her early education at the private schools of Mrs. Margaret Duurloo
and Miss Griselda H. Stevenson. She went on to attend Charlotte Amalie High School
from which she graduated in the Class of 1937. Entering the work world immediately
after graduation, she was employed as a secretary with the construction company
which was building the U.S. Post Office near Emancipation Garden. The company
was so pleased with Carmen's performance that when the Post Office was completed
and they moved to Puerto Rico to construction the Metro-Goldwyn Theater, she was
offered a position there. Always adventuresome and eager for new experiences, she
accepted and moved to San Juan. Upon completion of that project she chose to return
home and was then employed in the office of the Government Secretary and worked
under the Hon. Robert Morse Lovett.
On June 14, 1941, Carmen Carruth and Pvt. Robert A. Gerhard, II, USMC were
married. In 1943 when he was reassigned she moved and re-located to his home in
Buffalo, N.Y. where she continued to reside until her death on September 21, 1990.
Although she was destined to live much of her adult life away from her childhood home,
there was that bond of kinship which bound her to family and childhood friends.
In 1988 she retired from her job of 30 years at Lake Shore Central School, Angola
N.Y. where she was Account Clerk in charge of Faculty Payroll. At the time of death
Carmen Gerhard was a Charter Member of the Erie County Association of Educatior
Office Personnel, member of N.Y. State Association of Educational Secretaries, the
General Studies Steering Committee of West New York, and West New York Stud)
"To have faith requires courage, the ability to take a risk, the readiness
even to accept pain and disappointment. Whoever insists on safety
and security as primary conditions of life cannot have faith; whoever
shuts himself off in a system of defense, where distance and possession
are his means of security, makes himself a prisoner. To be loved, and
to love, need courage, the courage to judge certain values as oj
ultimate concern and to take the jump and stake everything or
The above, written by Carmen some time, we really don't know when, embodies
the composure with which she faced life life with its joys and its sorrows, life with it,
triumphs and its failures, life with its expectations and its accomplishments. The
aesthete she sought beauty in all things. Perfectionist she was, yet, tolerant ol
imperfections and human foibles. Humanitarian reaching out to care for others in the
midst of her own illness and downplaying her own failing health.
Her children, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren were her armor ol
love with which she surrounded herself. Her elderly friends, in the neighborhood fol
whom she assumed responsibility, were the recipients of her caring.
Carmen, the sentimentalist, never tired on her various visits home, recounting
with family and friends accounts and detailed descriptions of childhood memories
These recollections were vivid and alive.
She has fulfilled her mission and gone on to a higher calling. Isaiah writes: "Bu
they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wing!
as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary and they shall walk, and not faint," and s(
the agile limbs temporarily immobilized by illness will become lithe and mobile oncf
more. The prophecy in The Last Carib, Carmen's yearbook of the Class of 1937, shal
be fulfilled. "Carmen threw away her typewriter and now gives dancing lessons."
Khalil Gibran says:
Only when you drink from the river of silence
shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top,
then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs,
then shall you truly dance.
Take your bow our loved one, as the celestial band strikes up to welcome you -
Barbara Gerhard Davis Robert A. Gerhard, III
Thomas A. Davis
Kelly Davis Jones / Christine Davis Drown
Karin Davis / Tracy Gerhard
Robert A. Gerhard. IV
Jeffrey Drown / The Rev. Brian Jones
Alicia, Kevin & Katelin Drown
Phillip L. Corneiro
Mona A. Corneiro
June A. V. & L. Kenneth Lindqvist & Family
St. Thomas, V.I. and Trinidad, W.I.