WARMINSTER, PA—Carl F. Gerster passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 23, 2020, surrounded at home by his loving wife Veronica (Ronnie) and his dedicated caregiver after a long battle with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a rare, degenerative neurological disorder in the Parkinson’s family.
Carl was born on July 26, 1943, in Beloit, Wis., to the late Frank and Margaret Gerster. His first language was German since both Frank and Margaret were recent immigrants.
Carl’s family moved to New York when he was 4. He was a member of the first graduating class from Herricks High School on Long Island. He went on to graduate with a degree in chemistry from St. John’s University, where he met his wife, Ronnie. All of Carl’s graduate work was done at New York University in the field of chemical engineering.
Carl had a long and successful career with Mobil Oil. Assignments varied across five states and included almost four years in Saudi Arabia. Carl retired from Exxon Mobil in 2001 after 36 years of service.
Carl was an avid Porsche enthusiast and owned at least one and up to five at a time between 1968 and 2019. He was also a proud member of the Porsche Club of America for over 50 years. In retirement, Carl taught high speed driving, raced his Porsche GT3 and continued to build out his collection of toy Porsche models.
Another love of Carl’s was sailing and power boating. During his retirement in White Stone in the Northern Neck of Virginia, he was a member of the Rappahannock River Yacht Club, the Virginia Yacht Club and the Indian Creek Yacht & Country Club.
Music was also something Carl always had a passion for. During his retirement, Carl served as the president of the Northern Neck Orchestra and could often be found on his porch listening to classical music enjoying his water view.
Carl’s love of his family and travel was paramount throughout his life. When he wasn’t scouting out the latest Porsche model, he could be found cruising the world with Ronnie or visiting his children and many grandchildren across the country. Carl enjoyed many years in White Stone before relocating to Ann’s Choice in Warminster, Pa., in 2018 to be closer to his family due to his declining health. Though his health rapidly declined due to MSA, the disease never stole his wit, his smile and dry sense of humor.
Carl was predeceased in death by his sister, Thea Sinning, and his grandson, Owen O’Brien.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Ronnie Gerster; children, Thea Fernstrom (Eric) of Rogers, Ark., Carla O’Brien (Jim) of Yardley, Pa., and Michelle Gerster (Federico) of Oakland, Calif; grandchildren, Allison and Ryan Fernstrom, Connor, Liam and Reilly O’Brien and Francesca Helmig-Gerster; and his youngest sister, Melanie Rejune.
Carl’s family is planning a memorial service for a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Carl’s memory to the Multiple System Atrophy Coalition, 9935-D Rea Road, #212, Charlotte, NC 28277; or to the Ann’s Choice Benevolent Care Fund, c/o Philanthropy Department, 20000 Ann’s Choice Way, Warminster, PA 18974.
Arrangements are being handled by the Joseph A. Fluehr III Funeral Home in Richboro, Pa.