Karl Anthony Gerhards was born in Tiffin, Ohio, to Joseph and Dorothy Gerhards on February 25, 1933. He was one of nine children.
Karl decided early on that he wanted to join the United States Air Force. At 17 he enlisted as a mechanic and served for four years. He received the National Defense Service medal and was promoted to staff sergeant. After he was discharged, he moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, where he met his wife, Muriel. They enjoyed an extremely long courtship of five months and were married for 66 years.
Karl graduated from University of Southern Louisiana in 1964. He completed most of his course work at night school while working full time as a roustabout for Texaco. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In 1968, after a decade in Louisiana, he moved his family to Corpus Christi. He joined a family business against his better judgement, and the judgment of most everyone else. He endured this venture until 1983, when he decided to go out on his own as a certified public accountant. He moved his family several times, following his wife’s ambitions, and eventually ended up living in Eagle Lake in an apartment next to his daughter for the remaining five years of his life. He dedicated the last ten years taking caring of Muriel through the worst of Alzheimer’s. His dedication to her was nothing short of herculean.
Karl had to retire at an early age due to various serious medical conditions. Despite these conditions, he never let them prevent him from living a very fulfilling life. Karl enjoyed tennis, camping, and all family sports. He loved competing against his children and grandchildren, risking bodily harm to win. Hospital visits were an understood consequence of some of these events.
During his 66 years of marriage, he managed to raise four children and spoil 11 grandchildren. He was dragged along by his wife to attend nearly every activity his children and grandchildren participated in. Karl is survived by his siblings Judy and Billy Orum, James and Karen Gerhards, Margaret and Billy Ham, and Carol Ingrim; children Karl Alan Gerhards, Ronald and Susan Gerhards, Laura and John Myres, and Keith Gerhards; 11 grandchildren Andrew and Louise Gerhards, Jonathan Gerhards, Benjamin Gerhards, Alex Gerhards, Sophie Gerhards, Grace and Austin Scott, Jennifer Gerhards, Cynthia and Michael Longworth, Shelly and Michael Morales, Hunter and Kelsey Myres, and Cathryn Myres; and great-grandchild Olivia Gerhards.
He is preceded in death by his wife Muriel; brothers Lawrence Gerhards and Arnold (Butch) Gerhards; and sister Dorothy Jean Gordon and Zeke Miller.
Funeral service was Monday, September 5, 2022, at 10 a.m. at United Methodist Church in Eagle Lake, Texas, with Pastor Cathy McCorkle officiating. Visitation was Monday from 9 to 10 a.m. at United Methodist Church. Burial was in Lakeside Cemetery in Eagle Lake, Texas. Pallbearers were Michael Morales, Micah Thoms, Andrew Gerhards, Jonathan Gerhards, Benjamin Gerhards, Hunter Myres, Alex Gerhards, and Austin Scott. Honorary pallbearers were John and Anna Gertson, Russell Thomas, Elda Williams, Debbie and Jerry Cameron, Robert Crowl, Jeff Frnka, Pat Cook, and Martha Muro.
Memorials may be given to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6055 South Loop E, Houston, Texas, 77087, or Rice Medical Center Employee Volunteer Fund, P.O. Box 277, Eagle Lake, Texas, 77434. Online condolences may be given at www. hennekefunera l- home.com.