Robert E. Gerth, MD, 92, of Greenwood, passed away Wednesday, March 22, 2017, at Methodist Hospital.
He was born April 25, 1924, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to the late Edward P. and Agnes (Schulz) Gerth. Bob was the oldest of three boys and grew up in Oshkosh. After graduating from Oshkosh High School, he went on to earn an undergraduate degree in pre-med at Wisconsin State College and Marquette University. He then attended Marquette Medical School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, receiving his doctor of medicine degree in 1947. He subsequently served as a medical officer in the U.S Navy, assigned captain in the Fleet Marines during the Korean War on the USS Sierra.
Dr. Bob served as chief resident in pediatrics at Milwaukee County Hospital, where he met social worker Nancy Spence. Bob and Nancy married April 14, 1956, and began raising a growing family that eventually became eight children.
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He continued his post-graduate studies when he moved the family to Boston in 1960 to complete a pediatric radiology residency at Harvard University. He conducted research and taught Harvard medical residents at Boston Children’s and Brigham Hospitals. He also taught radiation physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Dr. Bob worked at both Methodist Hospital and at the Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis with a 28 year tenure where he served as chief radiologist. He was the one of the first pediatric radiologists in the state of Indiana, and was a pioneering contributor of cutting edge medical technology.
Throughout his life, Bob served his community in numerous roles. He was a longtime and active member at Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic Church. He was a former member of St. Lawrence and St. Mark Catholic Church in Indianapolis, and St. Josephat Acolyte Catholic Church in Natick, Massachusetts. He volunteered in many capacities at each church and school, including many years on parish school boards and councils.
Bob was also a true Renaissance Man. An accomplished jazz drummer, he played with the ensemble “The Diminishing Fifth” and was drummer for the volunteer Indianapolis orchestra “The Northwinds” playing for many charity events. He was a talented medical illustrator and cartoonist, brightening the day of his young patients by drawing cartoon characters. He was also an avid history buff, especially regarding the Civil War. He loved collecting antique toys.
Bob is lovingly remembered as a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather who gave selflessly to his family, his patients and his community.
Survivors include children, Teresa A. (Thomas) Skiba, Joan M. (Guy) Napier, Robert J. (Margaret) Gerth, Catherine M. (Robin) Hill, Elizabeth A. (Christopher) Wilhelm, James J. (Teresa) Gerth, Christopher J. Gerth and Margaret M. (Scott) Lionberger; 15 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren and multiple nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Nancy S. Gerth and two brothers and their wives, Don Gerth (Anita) and Ralph Gerth (Ruth).
Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at G.H. Herrmann Greenwood Funeral Home at the Gardens at Olive Branch, 1605 S. State Road 135. A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at 11 a.m. Monday at Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic Church, 335 S. Meridian St., Greenwood. He will be laid to rest at Calvary Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic Church.
Online condolences may be shared with the family at ghherrmann.com.