Lt. Col. Theodore “Ted’ Gerst

Last Updated on June 30, 2015 by cassnetwork

Lt. Col. Theodore “Ted” Gerst, USAF (retired), 82. of Rochester, formerly of Logansport, died at 12:55 a.m. Sunday, June 28, 2015, in St. Joseph Hospital, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Born February 19, 1933, in Logansport, he was the son of the late J. Samuel and Elinor R.  (Block) Gerst.

A 1950 graduate of Logansport High School, Ted received a principal appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy from Congressman Charles Halleck. He graduated from the USNA in June 1954. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lt in the USAF, entered pilot training and received his pilot’s wings in 1955. He completed Navigator-Bombadier training for pilots in 1956 and served in SAC flying B-45 medium bombers as an Aircraft Commander and co-pilot until 1964.

In 1966, he received a Masters in Science in Aerospace Engineering from Auburn University. From 1966-1972 he served as the Systems Engineering Program manager for Reentry Vehicles and Special Weapons at Kelly AFB in Texas.

While stationed in San Antonio, Ted met and married F. Alice Mann Andrews Gerst. She preceded him in death on May 28, 2003 after 35 years of marriage.
In 1973, Ted was assigned to the Stall/Spin Advanced Development Program (Flight Dynamics Lab) at the Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. While there, he completed is Air Force career in the Air-launched Cruise Missile program, carrier equipment (B-1 and B-152).

From 1977-1995, Ted was employed as a Senior Engineer for Vitro Corporation in Rockville, Maryland, specializing in the Aegis Combat System and Ship Test and Evaluation for the Arleigh Burke (DDG-51)Guided Missile Destroyer Program.

Upon his second retirement, Ted and Alice relocated from Severna Park, MD to beautiful Lake Manitou in Rochester, Indiana.

Ted was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks since 1954 and proudly served as Exalted Ruler of both Severna Park, Maryland Lodge No. 2482 and Rochester Lodge No. 2120. He was also a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose in Rochester. Ted had a beautiful voice and sang with the Notables in Rochester.

He is survived by his brother, Richard Gerst; two step-daughters, Tina Jarrett and Tobi Henry; four step granddaughters; one nephew, Ronald Gerst (wife Mary); one niece Cynthia Morris (husband Jon); two grand nieces, Jennifer and Rachel Morris; a close friend, Betty Estep;  and several extended family members on the Saltzman side of the family.

Ted was preceded in death by a brother, Robert V. Gerst and a sister-in-law Sally Gerst.

A graveside service, with full military honors, will be held at Mount Hope Cemetery at 11 am. Thursday, July 2. Rabbi Philip Cohen will officiate at the service. Ted will be laid to rest with his wife Alice in the family plot beside his parents and brother.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Fisher Funeral Chapel has been entrusted with arrangements. You may share memories and messages of sympathy in his guestbook at

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