Charles John Gerst Jr., 27, of Alexandria, Va. and most recently of Morrisdale, died Sunday, July 6, 2014 at the Mount Nittany Medical Center, State College.
He was born Dec. 29, 1986 in Philipsburg, the son of Charles J. Gerst of Tionesta and Penny Jayne (Turner) Gerst Jones of Morrisdale.
He was a member of the 193rd Special Operations Wing in the U.S. Air Force. He worked for General Dynamics of Alexandria, Va. as a communications network specialist.
He was Christian by faith. He was an avid outdoorsman; he enjoyed hiking and had recently hiked Mount Machu Picchu in Peru. He participated in many charitable races, including a recent “Tough Mudder” run.
He enjoyed many sports but was especially fond of snowboarding. He had also volunteered to help less fortunate children in multiple countries.
He put his heart and soul into everything and this is evidenced by all of his accomplishments. He was loved by everyone who met him and his infectious smile could brighten any room instantly.
He’s survived by his parents; his step-father, Larry W. Jones of Morrisdale; and two sisters, Jessica M. Gerst and her fiancé, Anthony Lash of Grampian and, Whitney E. Bass-Gainey and her husband, Alden of Macon, Ga.
He’s survived by his maternal grandmother, Dorothy Turner of Morrisdale; his paternal grandparents, Elmer and Margaret Gerst of Pittsburgh; his maternal uncles and aunts, Tom Turner and his wife, Kim, Terry Turner and his wife, Teresa and Pam Carlson and her husband, Dan; his paternal aunts and uncles, Larry and Vicki Roberson, Christine Gerst, Mark and Peggy Lehew and Dan and Jan Richards.
He’s also survived by three nephews, Everett, Mason and Wesley; his maternal cousins, Tommy Turner and his wife, Christen, Danny Carlson and his wife, Sara, Courtney Turner and Alyssa Turner; and his paternal cousins; Jenny, JC, Michael, Matthew, Pamela, Paul, Alex, Logan, Ian, Jack and Jordan.
He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Duane Turner and two cousins, Robbie Carlson and Krista Carlson.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Gethsemane United Methodist Church, Morrisdale, with the Rev. Heather Baker-McAllister officiating. Burial will be in the Centre Hill Cemetery, Morrisdale. Military honors will be accorded at the cemetery by the DuBois Honor Guard.
Friends will be received from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Wednesday and from 9 a.m. Thursday until the hour of the services.
The family suggest memorial contributions be made in his name to www.gofundme.com/7vi0ho.
Arrangements under the direction of Bennett & Houser Funeral Home, Clearfield, 312 E. Locust St., Clearfield, PA 16830.