Walter Erich Gerlach was born March 25, 1930 in München-Gladbach, Germany to Hans and Elfriede Gerlach. He came to the United States in 1950 with his mother and three of his siblings. They settled in Saxonburg, PA.
He was drafted into the Navy in 1955. He became a citizen in 1958. At the time, he didn’t own a car so he walked eight miles to Butler to take his oath and the eight miles back proudly carrying the paperwork that he was now a U.S. citizen.
His younger brother, Hans introduced Walter to Hans’ high school German teacher and he fell in love. He married the beautiful Audrey Crux of Munhall, PA on June 21, 1958.
He was employed by Oberg Manufacturing most of his working life, with a stint at the Nuclear Research Center and also for his Uncle Gustav.
He and his family were members of St Luke’s Church in Saxonburg. He served as a volunteer fireman and EMT for the Saxonburg Volunteer Fire Co. He also belonged to the American Legion and the Masonic Lodge in Butler.
Above all, Walter adored his wife, loved his children, and worked and played hard. He was fun-loving, laughed often, and entertained his friends with bigger-than-life stories.
He is preceded in death by his brothers Kurt, Erwin, and Hans. He is survived by his loving wife, Audrey. He is survived by children and grandchildren: Lori (Jeff) Morgan, Abigail Morgan, and Kassie Morgan; Ingrid (Mark) Ferrell, Maddie Ferrell, and Breece Ferrell; and Walter “Fritz” (Biljana Dopudja) Gerlach, Eric Gerlach, and Emily Gerlach. And he is survived by his sisters Gisela (Don) Peters and Helga (Bob) Hanhiede. There will be no visitation or services.
In lieu of flowers you may send donations to the Saxonburg Volunteer Fire Co., 190 Horne Ave, Saxonburg, PA 16056. If you would like to send condolences, please write Audrey Gerlach at Concordia Lutheran Ministries, 134 Marwood Rd, Cabot, PA 16023.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Walter E. Gerlach, please visit our floral store.