Gerhard W. "Gil" Hertel, a longtime resident of The Dalles and Dufur, passed away peacefully at his home in Dufur, Oregon on October 16, 2014 at the age of 93.
He was born on May 22, 1921 in Berlin, Germany to William Hertel and Else (Trinkhaus) Hertel. He came to the United States in 1928 five years before Hitler took over in Germany.
His family settled in The Dalles and farmed in Chenoweth while he was growing up. He started school at the old Court Street School and graduated from the The Dalles High School in 1940 the same year it burned down.
He joined the Navy in September of 1940, signing up for a six-year hitch. He spent time in the Atlantic and Pacific fleets during World War II.
He was a Pharmacist Mate 1st class. His final two years in the Navy were spent as a 1st class deep sea diver.
He was deeply proud of his service and especially enjoyed telling stories of his time in the Navy and his time deep sea diving. He was a true patriot to the end.
In 1946, he married the love of his life, Catherine Burns, in Washington D.C. She preceded him in death in May of 1998. Also preceding him in death were parents William Hertel, Else (Trinkhaus) Hertel, a step mother Frieda Hertel and a brother Horace Hertel.
He started work at US Bank in The Dalles in late 1946. In 1958, he transferred to Dufur as a branch manager and retired in 1982. During his tenure in Dufur, he convinced corporate headquarters that Dufur was deserving of a new bank building, and that was eventually accomplished.
He was saddened when a few years after his retirement, the bank in Dufur was closed.
He loved sports, especially baseball and basketball and enjoyed watching his grandsons participate---missing only a handful of games over the many years. He enjoyed fishing and puttering around his yard, and was a prolific reader.
He is survived by his son Gary (Sandie), The Dalles; son Steve (Sue), Fresno, California; grandsons Travis (Rose) of Dufur, Jason (Sara) of Madras, as well as Brian (Erika) and Brad (Melany) of Fresno, California.
He is also survived by eight great grandchildren, Jackson and Dylan of Madras; Lucinda and Catherine of Dufur; and Jayden, Keegan, Deacon, Chance and Cash of Fresno.
Per his request, private graveside services for immediate family members only will be held October 27, 2014 at Odd Fellows Cemetery in The Dalles.
Memorials may be made to Dufur Ambulance, Dufur, Oregon, or to Heart of Hospice.
Information from The Chronicle and our advertisers (Want to add your business to this to this feed?)