John O. Gehrett Obituary
John O. Gehrett of The Cypress passed away on June 10, 2017 at the age of 95. A beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend, colleague and church leader, John died peacefully of natural causes.
He was born in Huntingdon, PA to Samuel and Ada Gehrett. His mother was a school teacher who began teaching in her teens in a one room school house and his father was a railway mail clerk on the Pennsylvania Railroad. He graduated from Juniata College, attended Yale Law School, and after receiving a commission in the Navy, attended Harvard Business School. He was assigned to Gen. MacArthur’s staff, spending time in Australia, New Guinea, the Philippines, and Japan during the occupation.
After WWII, he married his long-time girlfriend, Jean Herr. She was the love of his life for 67 years of marriage.
His business career was devoted to the production of highway safety materials worldwide. He was proud of the lives saved due to his organizations’ innovations, and of establishing 14 factories around the world for Potters Industries of which he became President. He was also a Director of the International Road Federation where he dedicated his energy to the education of third world engineers.
After retirement, they moved to Long Cove Club in Hilton Head, SC where he was active in the management of the Club. He was an energetic member of Providence Presbyterian Church contributing to many aspects of the organization.
John is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law— Barbara and Bruce Brady, Gretchen Gehrett and Larry Zippin, and Marcia and Paul Puzzanghera - and by his grandchildren - Morgan Brady and his wife, Lauren-Torie, Evan Brady, Alex and Christy Puzzanghera. He is also survived by his companion and love, Suzanne Macdonald.
The family is grateful for Zenda Nathan, John's long time caregiver . We are also grateful to Dr. Lenns for his wisdom and compassionate care.
A celebration service will be held on July 15 at 11 am at Providence Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Providence Presbyterian Church, 171 Cordillo Parkway, Hilton Head, SC 29928.
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