Gustav David Gerth of Laguna Beach died Dec. 29, 2010, at the Long Beach Care Center in Long Beach. He was 82 years old.
Gerth was much loved, a friendly, upbeat, talented musician, gourmet chef and loyal friend. Though he spent the last five years of his life in hospitals and nursing homes, including several years confined to bed, he never lost his smile and positive outlook. Originally called Sonny, Gus, and Bunny, he was known by David later in life.
Born and raised in Norwood, Ohio, near Cincinnati, Gerth joined the U.S. Navy at age 18, serving from 1946 to 1951. He married his childhood sweetheart, Imogene Renner (deceased). They raised their two children in Culver City, Calif.
An avid fisherman who loved Texas Hold ’em, rare plants, miniature schnauzers, simple food and fine music, Gerth’s career was devoted to several wholesale food and floral businesses. A talented musician and pianist who studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, he was a member of an a cappella singing group (The Cincinnatians) and a barbershop quartet (The Culvertones). Gerth later became choir director and organist at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Lake Isabella, Calif., commuting every week between the mountains and the beach, until he retired to Laguna Beach full time in 1996.
Gerth is survived by a son, Douglas, of Anaheim; a daughter, Deborah Miller of Hoagland, Ind.; two grandsons, Joshua and Jason Miller; and a great grandson, Ezra Miller. He had hoped to welcome the birth of a second great grandson, but fell short by one month. Gerth is also survived by his devoted caregiver and partner of 27 years, Stephen Judson of Laguna Beach.
These are paid announcements.