ajor Joseph Gerrity USAF (Ret.), 90, of Bowling Green, Missouri passed away Tuesday Oct. 30, 2012. Funeral services were held at 11 am Monday Nov. 5, 2012 at St. Clement Church in Bowling Green with Fr. Bill Peckman officiating. Burial will be in Columbia, South Carolina with Military Honors. Visitation and prayer service were held at Mudd-Veach Funeral Home in Bowling Green prior to the funeral Mass.
Mr. Gerrity passed away at home with his family by his side. He was born Feb. 5, 1922 at the family home in Chicago, Ill., one of 13 children, the son of Edward and Evelyn Gerrity.
He was united in marriage Dec. 1, 1943 to Marilyn Louise Miller in Pensacola, Florida at the Naval Chapel and she preceded him in death July 30, 2003. His was also preceded in death by his son Michael Patrick Gerrity.
He is survived by three daughters: Cindy Pieper and husband John of St. Louis, Terry Franklin and husband Jerry of Wall, New Jersey and Diane Bibb and husband Clifford of Bowling Green; 12 grandchildren, Daniel Pieper, Angela Pieper, Sarah Pieper Lyons, Kristin Pieper, Katie Franklin Daniels, Brian Franklin, Molly Franklin, Michael Bibb, Alexander Bibb, Samuel Bibb, and Clary Bibb; five great-grandchildren; Lucah Lyon, Liliana Lyon, Evangeline Daniels, Marilyn Daniels, and Charlotte Franklin; one brother Fr. Raymond Gerrity and one sister Evelyn Freeman.
Joe graduated from Leo Catholic High School in Chicago in 1940 and the University of North Carolina with a Master’s degree in economics. He joined the Naval Aviation Program later transferring to the Air Force. He flew submarine patrol in World War II, C-54’s in the Berlin Airlift, Air Rescue during the Korean War, and was an Air Force flight instructor until 1964 when he retired from the Air Force. While stationed in Goose Bay Labrador, he was credited with saving a crew of 12 men on a disabled B-29 in 1953. Joe contributed to the development of ballistic missiles during the cold war on Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands in the 1960’s. He moved to St. Louis, in 1968 as a flight simulator test pilot for McDonald Douglas Aircraft Company and later worked in aeronautical mapping.
He was a member of St. Clement Catholic Church in Bowling Green. Known as “Grandpa Joe” to everyone, he loved sailing at Carlyle Lake, but his greatest love was for his family – his wife, children and grandchildren.
Pallbearers were Joseph Gerrity, Daniel Pieper, Brian Franklin, Michael Bibb, Alexander Bibb, and Samuel Bibb.
Memorials may be sent to St. Clement Charities for the Building Fund. Condolences may be left at www.muddveach.com.